Women soccer referees take the field at men’s biggest tournament

France’s Frappart, Japan's Yoshimi and Rwanda's Mukansanga are the first women selected as referees for soccer's biggest tournament.


Fourth Official Stephanie Frappart helps Poland's Matty Cash during a Group C match between Mexico and Poland at Stadium 974, Doha, Qatar, November 22, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

November 25, 2022

BEIJING — Stephanie Frappart of France made soccer history Tuesday as the the first woman to officiate a men’s World Cup match when she took the field as the fourth official in the game between Mexico and Poland.

Frappart, Japan’s Yamashita Yoshimi and Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga are the first women selected as referees for soccer’s biggest tournament. They were among the 36 total referees for the tournament in Qatar.

Brazil’s Neuza Back, Mexico’s Karen Diaz Medina and American Kathryn Nesbitt are among 69 assistant referees at the World Cup.

Frappart has already worked men’s games in World Cup qualifying, and the Champions League. She also handled the 2019 Women’s World Cup final, and refereed this year’s men’s French Cup final.

Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga holds the substitute board during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Group D match between France and Australia at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar on November 22, 2022. [Photo/IC]

General view of Fourth Official Yoshimi Yamashita on the pitch before the match between Belgium and Canada of Group F at the FIFA World Cup at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar, November 23, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

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