First woman referee at Copa Libertadores

Florencio Varela (Argentina) (AFP) – Brazilian referee Edina Alves has made history by becoming the first woman to officiate a match in the Copa Libertadores, South America’s top club competition.

The group match between Argentine side Defensa y Justicia and Independiente del Valle of Ecuador on Thursday had an all-woman refereeing team.

Alves was supported by assistant referees Neuza Back, also from Brazil, and Cindy Nahuelcoy of Chile, with another Chilean, Maria Belen Carvajal, as the fourth official.

The Group A match in Florencio Varela near Buenos Aires ended in a 1-1 draw.

Alves had already achieved a landmark when she became the first woman to officiate at a major men’s competition when she served as a fourth official at the World Club Cup in Qatar in February.

In Europe, French referee Stephanie Frappart was the first woman to take charge of a UEFA Champions League match when she officiated the group game between Juventus and Dynamo Kiev in December 2020.

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