Stephanie Frappart: First Woman To Officiate A Men's World Cup Game
This week, Stephanie Frappart made history by becoming the first woman to officiate a men's World Cup match. Frappart, 38, is not new to breaking historic barriers; she became the first women to referee a men's Championship League game in 2020. A French ref who has been on the FIFA International Referees List since 2009, Frappart is one of three women listed as a referee for Qatar's 2022 FIFA World Cup. Frappart is already being recognized as one of the best referees in the world; in an interview with The Guardian, she commented on her upcoming match: "I'm not nervous, I'm just focused. I've been preparing for this since I was 14 years old." Many are hailing Frappart's accomplishments as a major step forward for women in sport. Sarai Bareman, FIFA's Chief Women's Football Officer, said Frappart's appointment "shows that FIFA is committed to equality and inclusion." Soccer superstar Lionel Messi also voiced his support, telling reporters: "She knows the game very well, so I think she'll do a great job." Others have raised concerns about how Frappart will be judged in comparison to her male counterparts. Some say that she will be unfairly scrutinized and criticized if she makes any mistakes during the match. Nevertheless, Frappart is ready for the challenge and hopes to pave the way for future female referees.
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