By Emmanuel Adeleke
The 2022 World Cup will for the first time include female referees at a major men’s international competition.
Three referees and three assistant referees who have already been paving the way for female officials in the men’s game are included in the list of officials for Qatar 2022.
Stephanie Frappart has led the way in Europe, becoming the first female to referee a Champions League match and European Qualifier in recent years, and has also taken charge of games in the French Ligue 1.
Rwandan, Salima Mukansanga, became the first woman to referee a match at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.
Yoshimi Yamashita, who is from Japan, was the first woman referee to take charge of Asian Champions League match earlier this year.
The assistant referees will be Neuza Back (Brazil), Kathryn Nesbitt (USA) and Karen Diaz Medina (Mexico).
Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina, said: “This concludes a long process that began several years ago with the deployment of female referees at FIFA men’s junior and senior tournaments.
“In this way, we clearly emphasise that it is quality that counts for us and not gender. I would hope that in the future, the selection of elite women’s match officials for important men’s competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational.
“They deserve to be at the FIFA World Cup because they constantly perform at a really high level, and that’s the important factor for us.”