FIFA Selects Female Referees to Officiate at 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar for the First Time

FIFA has appointed six female referees for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, set to become the first men’s World Cup in history to have a game refereed by a woman.

On Thursday, FIFA — the international soccer governing body — announced that 36 referees, 69 assistant referees, and 24 video match officials (VMOs) have been selected for the upcoming tournament. Among those are three female referees and three female assistant referees.

Stéphanie Frappart of France, Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan were chosen as referees. Frappart previously oversaw men’s games in World Cup qualifying matches and the Champions League. Earlier this month, she also refereed the men’s French Cup final.

The female assistant referees selected are Kathryn Nesbitt of the U.S., Neuza Back of Brazil, and Karen Díaz Medina of Mexico.

“This concludes a long process that began several years ago with the deployment of female referees at FIFA men’s junior and senior tournaments,” Pierluigi Collina, chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, said in a release. “In this way, we clearly emphasize that it is quality that counts for us and not genders.” 

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