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Six female referees appointed in men's Qatar World Cup

Posted November. 16, 2022 07:40,   

Updated November. 16, 2022 07:40


The most notable feature of the Qatar World Cup is that for the first time in the 92-year-old history of the Men's World Cup, three female referees and three assistant referees have been appointed as officials for the tournament.

Officials Stephanie Frappart (France), Yamashita Yoshimi (Japan), and Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda) will participate as referees, and Neuza Back (Brazil), Karen Diaz Medina (Mexico), and Kathryn Nesbitt (the U.S.) will participate as assistant referees. Most of them are referees who have been recognized for their skills by breaking the ‘glass ceiling’ in men’s soccer.

Frappart has already officiated the European qualifiers for the UEFA Champions League and Qatar World Cup. Reputed as the 'best' in women's football, including officiating the 2019 Women's World Cup final in France, she has refereed a French Ligue 1 match since April 2019. In August of the same year, she referred the Liverpool and Chelsea's UEFA Super Cup as well, expanding her domain in men's soccer.

After refereeing the 2019 Women's World Cup in France, Yamashita is set to officiate “two consecutive World Cup tournaments.” Yamashita, who refereed the US-Swedish match at the Tokyo Olympics last year, is also recognized for her skills in international men's competitions, including in the AFC Champions League Melbourne City (Australia)-Jeonnam (Korea) match in April this year.

Mukansanga also served as the first female referee in the African Cup of Nations history. Since becoming a FIFA Certified referee, she boasts a wealth of experience, including refereeing at the FIFA Women's World Cup, African Women's Cup of Nations (AWCON), and Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women's Champions League.

The referees who caused controversy have also been selected as referees. Janny Sikazwe (Zambia), who blew the closing whistle in the 40th minute of the African Cup of Nations group stage match between Tunisia and Mali in January, will join as a referee. Earlier this month, Facundo Tello (Argentina), who dished out 10 red cards in the final match between Boca Juniors and Racing in the Argentina Cup Final, will also serve as a referee.

In this World Cup, 129 officials, including 36 referees, 69 assistant referees, and 24 video match officials, will be calling shots “King Solomon of the ground.” Korea has failed to produce World Cup referees for the third time since assistant referee Jeong Hae-sang was appointed at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Jae-Yeong Yoo elegant@donga.com