UEFA appoint first female ref to major club cup final

August 5 – For the first time ever, a female referee will take charge of a senior men’s European showpiece fixture after France’s Stephanie Frappart was appointed by UEFA to handle the Super Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea in Istanbul on August 14.

The 35-year-old is arguably the most experienced female official having refereed the women’s World Cup final last month and will lead a predominately female team, being joined by assistants Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O’Neal.

Frappart was also the first female referee to officiate a French Ligue 1 match when she took charge of Amiens against Strasbourg in April, later becoming the first woman to be named in the pool of referees in France’s top league for this coming season.

She is not the first female referee to be assigned to a men’s UEFA game. Switzerland’s Nicole Petignat refereed three UEFA Cup qualifying round games between 2004 and 2009 but nothing as big as this.

“The potential for women’s football has no limits and I am delighted that Stephanie Frappart has been appointed to officiate at this year’s UEFA Super Cup,” UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said in a statement.

“I hope the skill and devotion that Stephanie has shown throughout her career to reach this level will provide inspiration to millions of girls and women around Europe and show them there should be no barriers in order to reach one’s dream.”

UEFA Chief Refereeing Officer Roberto Rosetti said Frappart “fully deserves” the opportunity to officiate the Super Cup, the annual match between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League. “She has the ability to officiate on the biggest stage, as she proved at this year’s Women’s World Cup final.”

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