Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Milestone as France's Frappart to be first woman referee at men's World Cup

Milestone as France's Frappart to be first woman referee at men's World Cup

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Stephanie Frappart will take charge of Thursday's Group E match between Germany and Costa Rica to become the first woman to referee a men's World Cup match. AFP

Milestone as France's Frappart to be first woman referee at men's World Cup

Stephanie Frappart will become the first woman to referee a men's World Cup match after FIFA announced on Tuesday that she will take charge of Thursday's Group E match between Germany and Costa Rica (at 2am Cambodian time).

France's Frappart is one of three women referees among the 36 selected for the tournament in Qatar, alongside Rwandan official Salima Mukansanga and Japan's Yoshimi Yamashita.

Three other female officials have travelled to the World Cup as assistant referees.

For the 38-year-old Frappart, refereeing her men's World Cup match is the latest step in a rapid rise to the top level in Europe.

She was the first woman to referee in France's Ligue 1 in 2019, the same year she took charge of the women's World Cup final in her home country.

Frappart also officiated the 2019 UEFA Super Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea, before refereeing in the Champions League in 2020 and then the French Cup final last season.

Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez on Wednesday said the appointment of Frappart to referee his team's crucial clash with Germany was a major milestone in a "sexist sport".

Frappart will become the first woman to take charge of a men's World Cup game on Thursday, working with two women assistant referees.

Suarez said her appointment "speaks volumes of this woman and her commitment ... especially in this sport, which is a sexist sport".

"It is difficult to reach the level she has reached. It is another positive step for football. It shows that football is for everyone."

Costa Rica midfielder Celso Borges said Frappart's selection was "a huge step for women globally".

"She is there because she has all the capabilities to perform on a great stage," he said.

Germany coach Hansi Flick said she had earned her position on the "basis of her performances" while defender Lukas Klostermann said the appointment "was not an issue" in the German camp.

"We don't really look out for who is refereeing us [to see] whether they are a man or a woman," he said. "We think it's normal and we hope it stays that way."

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