Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2022. 12:51 pm CST.
Photo Credit: FIFA
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: What an irony. A women’s trio will be officiating for the first time in a men’s World Cup in a country where women’s rights are limited to say the least.
On Thursday, December 1, the Costa Rica-Germany game will be officiated by referee Stéphanie Frappart from France at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. 38-year-old Frappart will become the first woman ever to referee in a men’s World Cup game. FIFA said Frappart was also the first woman to referee a Ligue 1 and UEFA Champions League game.
She will be joined by Neuza Back from Brazil and Karen Diaz from Mexico as assistant referees. The selected referees are Stephanie Frappart from France, Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda, and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan, while the assistant referees are Neuza Back from Brazil, Karen Diaz Medina from Mexico, and Kathryn Nesbitt from the USA.
“The men’s World Cup is the most important sporting competition in the world. I was the first referee in France and in Europe, so I know how to deal with it,” Frappart said.
On November 22, Rwandan official Salima Mukansanga was the first African woman referee to officiate a FIFA World Cup match. Mukansanga, who is 34, was the 4th official in the group stage game between France and Australia. Salima has now officiated at at the Women’ World Cup, the Olympic Football Championship, the CAF Women’s Champions League, the Men’s Africa Cup of Nations, and the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
“They were not selected because they are women, but as FIFA referees. They could officiate any game,” said Pierluigi Collina, chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee.
Referee Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan and assistant referee Kathryn Nesbitt from the United States are only on FIFA list of selected referees to the 2022 World Cup.
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