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Stéphanie Frappart Becomes The First Woman Referee At Men’s World Cup



Stéphanie Frappart Becomes The First Woman Referee At Men's World Cup

(CTN NEWS) – Tuesday’s match between Mexico and Poland in Group C marked Stephanie Frappart’s debut as a female referee at a men’s World Cup.

Frappart was one of three women selected for the World Cup in Qatar, which will mark the first time female referees have participated in FIFA’s premier event.

In Stadium 974’s Mexico-Poland match, the French referee served as the fourth official, creating history.

When Stéphanie Frappart learned she would attend the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, FIFA made their appointment publicly in May.

“It’s unexpected; you can’t believe it, but after two or three minutes, you realize you’re going to the World Cup. It’s great, not just for me but also for my family and the French officials,” she tells CNN Sport,

Stéphanie Frappart has recorded a seemingly unending number of firsts during her career.

In August 2019, she officiated the first big men’s European match; in 2020, she officiated the first men’s UEFA Champions League match. In 2019, she became the first female ref to take control of a Ligue 1 match.

 Stéphanie Frappart Becomes The First Woman Referee At Men's World Cup

Frappart to become the first-ever female referee to take charge of a men’s World Cup match.

Because most people could identify me on the street, Frappart says, “I realized that my life changed after 2019.”

Therefore, I serve as a role model for female referees, but I also believe that it has encouraged some other women to assume increasing levels of responsibility in society or at work.

Stéphanie Frappart had already served as the fourth official twice during this World Cup, making history by being the first female official to work a men’s World Cup match when Mexico faced Poland.

Mukasanga and Yamashita served as the fourth officials at two and four World Cup games.

Due to Qatar’s strong restrictions on women’s rights, there is a clear contrast between these historic moments for gender equality in football and the location in which they are taking place.

Amnesty International claims that women in Qatar still depend on a male guardian—typically their father, brother, grandfather, uncle, or husband.

And must obtain their consent before making significant choices like getting married, using reproductive healthcare, and working in many government positions.

CNN contacted the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) for comment, but no response had been received as of the time of writing.

“I visited Qatar numerous times for World Cup preparations and was always welcomed. I have no idea what things are like there, but I didn’t choose to go or plan the World Cup,” explains Stéphanie Frappart.

“It’s impossible to say anything now, ten years later, but I hope this World Cup will improve things for women there.”

 Stéphanie Frappart Becomes The First Woman Referee At Men's World Cup

Frappart to become the first-ever female referee to take charge of a men’s World Cup match.

“You have to demonstrate the quality when you’re a woman,”

The pressure of officiating a game is at its highest during the World Cup, which is football’s grandest stage.

According to Sky Sports, a referee may make 245 choices in a single game; if even one is incorrect, it will be scrutinized in minute detail.

It may change the outcome of a match or even a team’s World Cup, preventing it from winning a championship or guaranteeing it would not advance further in the competition.

“There are more repercussions for the teams when you make a mistake than if a player does,” according to Stéphanie Frappart. “When you lose, it’s simple to suggest that the referee made a mistake rather than that your team did.”

This pressure changes as referees advance to the top levels of the game.

“You know that every choice is significant and will impact the squad, so it’s more about the media and money,” according to Stéphanie Frappart.

“But it’s harder with the audience and the setting when you first start in the neighborhood clubs.”

 Stéphanie Frappart Becomes The First Woman Referee At Men's World Cup

Frappart to become the first-ever female referee to take charge of a men’s World Cup match.

Female referees inevitably face intense scrutiny because they work in two professions historically dominated by men: football and leadership.

When Stéphanie Frappart made her Ligue 1 debut, “there were many doubts connected if she’s there because she’s a woman if she won’t follow the game and everything,” she says.

“I don’t think it’s just in football, but I think it’s in any career when you’re a woman… you have to prove you have the quality, and then they allow you to continue,” said the lady.

However, when Stéphanie Frappart officiated more games, attitudes toward her shifted.

“At this point, gender is not relevant. Now, all that remains is a steel and competency question. After a couple of games, they left me alone and without any more reporters present, so it’s all right now.

‘It was hard work I put in.’

Women’s football hardly made an impression on the athletic world in 1993 when Stéphanie Frappart started playing at eleven.

Just two years prior, China hosted the first women’s World Cup, a huge success.

However, there was no women’s Champions League in Europe, no National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in the USA, and no professional female referees.

The first woman to officiate a top-tier men’s league match was Bibiana Steinhaus in the Bundesliga in 2017.

The selection of Stéphanie Frappart to officiate at a men’s World Cup is a step in the right direction for a “very sexist sport,” according to Costa Rica manager Luis Fernando, who spoke to Reuters.

In addition, he said, “I think it’s excellent for football and a great move for football to demonstrate that it’s opening up for everyone. It’s really difficult to achieve the point that she has reached.”

Mukansanga says that she never saw a female referee in Rwanda who she may have looked up to as a role model for her own goals.

 Stéphanie Frappart Becomes The First Woman Referee At Men's World Cup

She tells CNN Sport, “I worked hard and pursued the aspirations of the men since they were the people around me.”

“All of them are guys. In Rwanda, one World Cup referee attended the tournament twice; as a result, he greatly encouraged me, and I continued to put in a lot of effort to emulate him.”

Stéphanie Frappart hopes that the presence of female referees and the massive global audience for the Qatar World Cup will inspire more women to pick up a whistle.

According to the FA, there was a 72% rise in qualified female referees in the UK between 2016 and 2020, indicating that this transformation is already beginning.

Therefore, “if more referees are on TV, it might be simpler for women to accept that this is conceivable. Because you cannot declare,” “Okay, I want to be a referee,” if you don’t know whether it is possible for us.


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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