The French Stephanie Frappart, the Rwandan Salima Mukasanga and the Japanese Yoshimi Yamashita, along with the Brazilian assistants Neuza Back, the Mexican Karen Díaz Medina and the American Kathryn Nesbittwill make history in Qatar 2022, as it will be the first time that there are female referees in a men’s World Cup, according to the list of referees announced by FIFA.
Frappart, 38 years old and international since 2011, is the most reputable and recognized collegiate. After directing the biggest women’s tournaments, including World Cup finals, in 2019 she became the first woman to referee the men’s Super Cup final (Liverpool-Chelsea) and in 2020 she was the first to lead a Champions League match (Juventus-Dinamo kyiv).
She was also the first female referee in a match at the Men’s European Championship, being appointed as assistant to Dutchman Danny Makkelie in the Turkey-Italy match that opened the tournament.
Mukasanga was the first woman to officiate an Africa Cup of Nations match this year (Zimbabwe-Guinea) after being the fourth referee for the Guinea-Malawi match, and Yamashita officiated this April the Melbourne City-Jeonnam Dragons match of the Asian Champions .
“We are pleased to be able to count for the first time in the history of the World Cup with referees Stéphanie Frappart (France), Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda) and Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan), along with assistants Neuza Back (Brazil), Karen Díaz Medina (Mexico) and Kathryn Nesbitt (United States). These appointments culminate a long process that began several years ago with the appointment of female referees in FIFA junior and senior male tournaments,” said Italian Pierluigi Collina, president of the FIFA Referees Commission. FIFA.
“In this sense, we will not tire of repeating that what is important is quality and not gender,” warned the former referee, who pointed out that he hopes that “in the future, the fact that there are elite female referees in major men’s competitions will be understood as something normal and stop being news”.
“They deserve to be at the FIFA World Cup because their performance is consistently excellent, and that is the determining factor for us,” Collina said. In total, 36 referees, 69 assistants and 24 members of the video refereeing team have been appointed by the FIFA Referees Committee.
“As always, we have put quality before everything else, and the referees chosen are of the highest level in the world,” said Collina, chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, adding that Russia “was very successful, among other things, for the excellence of refereeing” and that they will give “everything because it is even better in Qatar”. According to FIFA, the ‘Heading to Qatar 2022’ project began in 2019. They analyzed more than fifty refereeing trios as possible candidates, who underwent intense preparation.
“The pandemic affected our activities, especially in 2020 and early 2021. Luckily, the World Cup was still a long way off and we had enough time to prepare the candidates. We have announced the names so far in advance because we want to work even more with the referees appointed for the FIFA World Cup and follow them up in the coming months. The message is clear: don’t rest on your laurels, keep up your efforts and prepare rigorously for the World Cup,” Collina said.
The selected referees will participate in various seminars in June and July (Asunción, Madrid and Doha), in which videos of real match situations will be reviewed and analyzed, and they will participate in practical training sessions with footballers, which will be recorded so that the participants Receive immediate feedback from instructors.
“The preparation continues to be focused on protecting the players and the image of football, on providing it with coherence and homogeneity, on reading the game from a technical and tactical point of view and understanding the diversity of mentalities between players and teams. We cannot avoid all errors, but we will do our best to limit them to a minimum,” he assured.
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