2022 World Cup

Female Referees Selected to Men's World Cup for First Time Ever

Three female refs and three female assistant refs were appointed by FIFA for World Cup duty

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The 2022 World Cup could be a historic one for female referees.

FIFA on Thursday announced the 129 officials selected for World Cup duty, which included three female referees and three female assistant referees. It marked the first time in the event's 92-year history that female officials were tabbed for the men's World Cup.

France's Stéphanie Frappart, Rwanda's Salima Mukansanga and Japan's Yoshimi Yamashita were three of the 36 refs selected, while Brazil's Neuza Back, Mexico's Karen Díaz Medina and the United States' Kathryn Nesbitt were among the 69 assistant refs appointed.

Being selected for the World Cup doesn't guarantee that an official will end up working a game. But these six women now have the chance to make history in Qatar later this year.

"As always, the criteria we have used is 'quality first' and the selected match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide," FIFA Referees Committee chairman Pierluigi Collina said. "In this way, we clearly emphasize that it is quality that counts for us and not gender.

"I would hope that in the future the selection of elite women's match officials for important men's competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational."

Frappart has been a trailblazer for female officials. She was the first woman to oversee a major men's European match when she refereed the UEFA Super Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool in 2019. Since then, she's also become the first woman to ref a men's UEFA Champions League match, a men's World Cup qualifier and the men's French Cup Final.

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