Meet the World Cup’s first female referee Stephanie Frappart

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World Cup history will be made on Thursday when Stephanie Frappart becomes the first female official to ever referee a match at the tournament. Frappart will be overseeing the Group E clash between Costa Rica and Germany and will have Brazil’s Neuza Back and Mexico’s Karen Diaz as her assistants. And Express Sport takes a closer look at Frappart’s career to date.

Who is Stephanie Frappart?

Frappart was born in France in December 1983 and is 38 years old. She became a FIFA-accredited referee in 2011 and can usually now be found overseeing matches in Ligue 1 in her homeland after working her way through the ranks in the French football pyramid.

She previously oversaw matches in Ligue 2 and cup competitions, before being giving her chance to shine in France’s top league in April 2019. This season, Frappart has taken charge of six top-flight matches, handing out 29 yellow cards and two red cards.

Frappart in the Champions League

Frappart has refereed matches in both the Champions League and the Europa League. The group stage clash between Juventus and Dynamo Kyiv in 2020 was her first taste of the Champions League. Earlier this season, she was selected to be in the middle when Real Madrid hosted Celtic in European football’s premier club competition. She awarded three penalties during the match as Real ran out 5-1 winners.

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Frappart and international football

Frappart took charge of the Netherlands’ World Cup qualifier against Latvia in March 2021 and subsequently oversaw Northern Ireland’s trip to Lithuania five months later. She also awarded three penalties during the clash in Vilnius – so Germany and Costa Rica players will need to be on their best behaviour on Thursday at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar.

Has Frappart officiated at the Qatar World Cup?

Frappart became the first female official at a World Cup when she was named as the fourth official during Mexico’s Group C encounter with Poland last Tuesday. The match ended in a 0-0 draw.

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How many female officials are at the World Cup?

Frappart is one of three female officials working at the Qatar Word Cup. Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita are also in Qatar among the 36 officials selected to take charge of matches.

What has Frappart said about the World Cup?

Ahead of the World Cup, Frappart insisted that she will just be focusing on doing her job as usual in Qatar. “We know the pressure,” she explained. “But I think we will not change ourselves. Be calm, focused, concentrate, and don’t think too much about the media and everything – just be focused on the field.

“Since I started I was always supported by teams, clubs and players. I was always welcome in the stadium so I feel like another referee inside the pitch. I was always welcome, so I think I will be welcome as before.”

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