Female referees to make history by officiating at a men’s World Cup for the first time


FEMALE referees are set to be used for the first time at a men’s World Cup.

French-born Stéphanie Frappart, 38, Rwandan midwife Salima Mukasanga, 34, and Japanese fitness trainer Yoshimi Yamashita, 36, will all appear.

French-born Stéphanie Frappart, 38, will appear in the World Cup


French-born Stéphanie Frappart, 38, will appear in the World CupCredit: AFP

It is the first time in the 92-year history of football’s most prestigious tournament that a woman will officiate a match.

French-born Frappart, 38, previously made history as the first woman to referee matches in France’s Ligue 1, the UEFA Champions League and World Cup qualification matches.

She became a FIFA-qualified referee in 2009.

Frappart said of host nation Qatar, which places strict rules on women: “I will go there for the competition. I wouldn’t go there for the environment”

“But perhaps this World Cup will improve women’s rights in the country.”

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Rwandan midwife Mukansanga, 34, and Japanese personal trainer Yamashita, 36, have also been selected to officiate on the global stage.

The fleet of female officials said they were confident refereeing in front of a worldwide audience scrutinising their every decision.

Legendary official Pierluigi Collina, head of the referees’ committee, said: “For us, they are referees, they are match officials.”

Collina, who refereed the 2002 World Cup final, added that the women were not picked because of their gender and would be allowed to officiate games involving conservative nations such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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