She will make history by becoming the first female referee to officiate a major European men’s game. Here’s all you need to know about her.
Chelsea and Liverpool will do battle in the upcoming UEFA Super Cup, but unlike previous editions, the limelight has been shinning on not the players nor the manager, but on the referee.
Stephanie Frappart is the match official for Wednesday’s showdown, becoming the first female referee to officiate a major men’s European match. Her appointment was announced earlier this month but with the game being right around the corner, she has dominated the conversation.
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She has received a seal of approval from the likes of Lampard, Klopp, and Ballon d’Or favorite Van Dijk who have all welcomed the idea of a bigger role for women referees in the men’s game. This begs the question: who is Frappart and how did she rise to become a record-setter?
The official, 35, was born in France on December 14, 1983. Her success was no overnight accomplishment, as she has been on FIFA’s International Referees list since 2009. Furthermore, she has officiated nearly 80 games in Ligue 2, which is an impressive feat on its own.
However, 2019 has been a spectacular year in her career, reaching three incredible feats and counting in one calendar year. The first of those came in April 2019, with the 35-year-old officiating the Ligue 1 clash between Amiens and Strasbourg. This was the first time in history that a woman refereed a French top-flight game.
She would go on to achieve new heights in the ground-breaking FIFA Women’s World Cup, taking over the final which saw the USA take on the Netherlands. Frappart performed well, as did the USWNT, with Rapinoe and Co. triumphing 2-0 to lift the title for the fourth time.
Next up is the UEFA Super Cup. Klopp hailed her appointment, saying (as per RTE): “Finally – it’s time. I’m happy to be a part of this historic moment. It’s a smart decision to have women referee a very, very important game. It’s the first time, but I hope it’s not the last.”
Lampard echoed a similar sentiment, hailing this decision as “a historical moment that is one more step in the right direction”.
Frappart, however, isn’t fazed by this huge stage. “I’m now popular all over the world,” she stated, as per CNN. “But I was also appointed in Ligue 1, so I know the feelings and emotions and how to manage them and how to train for [the occasion]. This is not my first appointment.”
On the matter of female referees in comparison with their male counterparts, she had this to say: “I think we’re the same. We have to prove technically and tactically [we’re ready]. I’m not afraid about that. Nothing changes about me.”
All eyes will be on Stephanie, who aims to inspire young female officials across the globe. For Chelsea and Liverpool, a trophy is at stake; however, for Frappart, it’s a lot more.
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