French referee Stephanie Frappart will make history on Thursday as the first female referee to officiate at a men’s World Cup when she and her team of all-female match officials take centre stage in a crucial Group E fixture between Costa Rica and Germany.
It will also be the first time an all-female refereeing team would be in charge of a men’s World Cup game as two female assistant referees would join her; Brazil’s Neuza Back and Mexican Karen Diaz Medina.
A few days ago, the 38-year-old referee made history in the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup, becoming the first female official at the tournament when she was named the fourth official in the Mexico-Poland match.
She has broken several officiating records, creating a new pathway for other female referees, including becoming the first woman to referee a men’s UEFA Champions League match in Juventus’ 3-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv in 2020.
Frappart is also the first woman in charge of a major UEFA Champions League match in the Liverpool and Chelsea European Super Cup clash in 2019.
“We know the pressure,” Frappart told BBC Sport. “But I think we will not change ourselves. Be calm, focused, (and) concentrate, and don’t think too much about the media and everything. Just be focused on the field.”
Three women, including Frappart, Rwandan Salima Mukansanga representing Africa and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan, are part of the 36 referees selected to officiate games at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.