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From Kharkiv bunker to Wembley Stadium: Ukrainian to referee Euro 2022 final

After fleeing Ukraine, Kateryna Monzul will referee Euro 2022’s final between Germany and England at Wembley Stadium tonight.

The 41-year old was living in Kharkiv (Ukraine’s second-largest city) until Russia invaded her country in February.

She hid underground for five days at her parents’ home, before she left her homeland with her sisters and three of their children.

Monzul, who began his career as an international referee back in 2004, said, “This is a very emotional moment for me and I’m enjoying it.”

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“My heart beats fast already. This is the moment that a dream you’ve had comes true.

“But I have to say, it’s also an opportunity where I feel responsible, as I’ll referee an important football match.”

Monzul, the first official from Ukraine, will referee the Women’s Euro final. She will be leading the teams in front of a sold-out crowd.

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She was proud and happy when she called her Ukrainian love ones to inform them about her selection for the big match.

She said that she heard their positive and happy responses and realized how important this was for her as well as herself.

Monzul traveled through Moldova, Hungary and Slovakia earlier this year before arriving in Germany and Italy. There she continued her career of refereeing.

She said, “It was stressful. It was difficult.” “When we fled Ukraine, we had no idea what the next step would be.”

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“Give girls the chance to play football”

Monzul was the first woman to be in charge of an England men’s match during the World Cup qualifier against Andorra last October.

Her 2016 accomplishment was historic as she became the first woman to supervise matches in the Ukraine men’s Premier League.

Monzul also managed three Women’s World Cups, including the 2015 final in which the United States defeated Japan 5-2. He also managed men’s matches in Europa League and Europa Conference League as well as the Nations League.

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