For the first time in the history of the men’s World Cup, a referee team will be an entirely female crew. The trio will be on the field for the group stage matchup between Costa Rica and Germany on Thursday.
Led by Stephanie Frappart, the three officials also include Brazil’s Neuza Back and Mexican Karen Diaz Medina. Frappart will be the first woman to referee at a men’s World Cup. She also became the first female official at the tournament when she was the fourth official during the Mexico and Poland game last week.
Female referee team understands understands World Cup pressure
Frappart previously spoke about the historic implications of the occasion. “We know the pressure,” Frappart told BBC Sport before the start of the tournament.
“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.”
The Frenchwoman was also asked about the support she has received during matches as well. “Since I started I was always supported by teams, clubs and players,” stated Frappart. “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.”
Flick praises Frappart ahead of game
Germany head coach Hansi Flick fully backed Frappart during his press conference on Wednesday. “I have 100% trust in the referee,” proclaimed the German coach. “She deserves it because of her performances. I hope she’s looking forward to the game as much as we are. We all hope we’ll see a good performance tomorrow.”
Frappart also previously became the first female to referee a UEFA Champions League match as well. The upcoming World Cup fixture on Thursday comes nearly two years to the day as the game between Juventus and Dynamo Kyiv in 2020.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Xinhua
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