History Made; First Female Referee at World Cup


Chloe Casida, Staff Writer

     As eager eyes across the globe watch the World Cup, soccer goals and scores aren’t the significant memories being made during this historical event. 

     Stephanie Frappart, a French football referee and member of the FIFA International Referees list since 2009, made history after being the first woman to referee a men’s World Cup match. 

     In 2019, she became the first female referee to take charge of a Ligue 1 match. In August 2019, she became the first to take charge of a major men’s European match and in 2020, she became the first to officiate a men’s UEFA Champions League match. 

     Already at this World Cup, Frappart has been the fourth official on two occasions, becoming the first female official at a men’s World Cup match in the Mexico vs. Poland game.

     Although historic and groundbreaking, Frapparts’ leap toward gender equality in football heavily contradicts the country where the World Cup is taking place. Women’s rights are heavily restricted and looked down upon in Qatar. Women in Qatar must obtain permission from their male guardians to marry, study, work in the government and access reproductive healthcare. 

     “It’s difficult to say something but I hope that … this World Cup will improve life for women there,” Frappart said. “I don’t want to be judged by my gender but by my refereeing skills.”