After 92 years of World Football competitions, women make history from the lawns of Qatar, in 2022


France’s Stephanie Frappart of Portuguese descent made history when she became the first woman to take charge of a men’s World Cup match during a Group E contest between Costa Rica and Germany on Thursday.

Frappart, 38, led the first all-female refereeing team in a men’s World Cup in the game at Al Bayt Stadium alongside assistants Neuza Back from Brazil and Mexico’s Karen Diaz.

It was yet another achievement in Frappart’s illustrious career, which began with her officiating youth games at the age of 13 in Herblay-sur-Seine, northwest of Paris, where she grew up. Frappart’s mother known as Gina (Barracas) is from Tamel – São Veríssimo, Barcelos, emigrated at a very young age with her parents to France.

Frappart entered the history books when she became the first woman to referee a French Ligue 1 match in 2019, officiating a game between Amiens and Strasbourg.

The same year, Frappart also took charge of the UEFA Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea, becoming the first woman to officiate in a major men’s European match.

In 2020, she became the first woman to officiate a Champions League match, taking charge of the game between Juventus and Dynamo Kyiv.

“The men’s World Cup is the most important sporting competition in the world,” said Frappart, who was also the fourth official during Mexico’s scoreless draw with Poland in Qatar.

“I was the first referee in France and in Europe, so I know how to deal with it”.

Last year, Frappart became the first woman to officiate a FIFA World Cup qualifier, in a match between the Netherlands and Latvia, while this year she was the referee for the French Cup final between Nice and Nantes.

Frappart, whose passion for soccer came from her father, is a three-time winner of the World’s Best Woman Referee award, given by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).