Two female match officials took charge of qualifying matches for the men’s FIFA World Cup, making history as the first women to do so.
France’s Stéphanie Frappart refereed the men’s qualifier between the Netherlands and Latvia in Amsterdam on the weekend, while Ukraine’s Kateryna Monzul refereed the match between Austria and the Faroe Islands in Vienna.
FIFA has said the appointment of two women to these high-stakes men’s World Cup qualifiers is a milestone.
“Although they already had some matches in important men’s competitions under their belts, officiating a FIFA World Cup qualifier for the first time is special and is something to be very proud of,” said Pierluigi Collina, the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee.
“They have worked very hard in recent years and these appointments are recognition for the good job that they have done.”
Frappart has previously made history as the first woman to referee a men’s Champions League match in December last year, and as the first woman to oversee a major men’s European final in 2019.
Kateryna Monzul also made history in 2016, when she became the first woman in Ukraine to referee a match in the men’s top division competition. Last year, she was the first woman to referee in Ukraine’s men’s domestic final, and was also named the best referee in the men’s division by the Ukrainian Association of Football in an otherwise all male field.
Definitely not. Kateryna Monzul will take charge of the game in Austria tomorrow. https://t.co/lD8p1gn9tr— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) March 27, 2021
Both women have officiated matches at the highest level in women’s football. Monzul officiated the Women’s FIFA World Cup final between the US and Japan in 2015, while Frappart took the reigns in the 2019 Women’s FIFA World Cup final between the US and the Netherlands.
Pierluigi Collina said following the appointments of Frappart and Monzul, he was confident female refereeing appointments at men’s matches will become more commonplace.
“FIFA will continue to champion the development of female refereeing and I’m confident that the appointment of female match officials to men’s games will be absolutely commonplace in the future,” he said.