Stéphanie Frappart of France became the first woman to be the lead referee in a men’s World Cup game when she refereed a match between Germany and Costa Rica on Thursday December 1st.
The 38 year old Frenchwoman managed the match alongside a refereeing crew of all women. Frappart worked with assistant referees Neuza Back of Brazil and Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico.
Along with being the first woman referee in Qatar, Frappart has also officiated as a fourth referee for two matches between Mexico vs. Poland and Portugal vs. Ghana.
In 2019, Frappart became the first woman to referee the men’s UEFA Super Cup between Chelsea and Liverpool. Her assistants were also all women. That same year, she officiated the Women’s World Cup Final, when the United States defeated the Netherlands. This was also where the U.S. women’s team fought for their equal pay rights to receive the same as the U.S. men’s team.
Frappart played football between the ages of 10 and 13 before changing paths to become a referee. She was surprised with her selection as head referee, but knew it was going to be inspiring for women around the globe.
Frappart officiated her first match between the Henin-Beaumont F.C. and La Roche-sur-Yon at 19 years old.