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Women to officiate during men's World Cup for first time ever

For the first time in history, female football referees will be working at matches at major men’s tournaments during the Qatar World Cup.

FIFA announced that three female referees were selected and three assistant referees were chosen to be among the 129 match officials.

French referee Stephanie Frappart is a former women’s World Cup finalist and has officiated the men’s matches in World Cup qualifying matches as well as the Champions League. She was also the referee for the French domestic cup final earlier in the month.

In Qatar, she will be joined by Salima Mukansanga, a Rwandan referee, and Yoshimi Yamashita, a Japanese referee. There will be 64 games, with 26 referees, as the tournament moves from its traditional summer slot because of the weather in Qatar.


Pierluigi Collina (chair FIFA Referees Committee), who worked in the 2002 World Cup final, stated that “quality first” is the criteria used.

“In this manner, we emphasize that it’s quality that counts for our company and not gender.”

The 69 assistants are: Neuza Back from Brazil, Karen Dias from Mexico and Kathryn Nesbitt of the United States.

More information on the World Cup 2022

Collina stated, “I hope that in future the selection of elite female match officials for men’s competitions important men’s contests will be seen as something normal and not as sensational.”

Controversial AFCON referee chosen by FIFA

Janny Sikazwe from Zambia was one of the Qatari male referees. He controversially blew out the final whistle of the African Cup of Nations Group Game between Mali, Tunisia, and after an additional 85 minutes.

Officials ordered the teams to return on the field after a half-hour, but Tunisia refused. The Confederation of African Football later ratified the result despite Tunisia’s protest.

Later, Mr Sikazwe explained to us that he became confused due to the extreme conditions in Cameron. The match was held under high heat and humidity.

After two games in 2018, he will now be participating in the second World Cup.

Sky News has more:

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Some hotels won’t accept gay couples

Which country is England facing? Who are the favourites?

Seven stars you haven’t heard about (yet).

FIFA also selected 24 men to be Video Assistant Referees during the tournament.

Two referees from Argentina, Brazil and England were selected, with Anthony Taylor and Michael Oliver representing England.

The English assistants selected were Simon Bennett, Gary Beswick and Stuart Burt. Adam Nunn was also chosen.


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