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FIFA World Cup 2022: Women’s referees and assistant referees will first time officiate in the men’s World Cup

FIFA World Cup 2022 is ready to create new history in men’s football as it will be the first time when women’s match officials will be involved in a men’s football World Cup match. A total of six women’s match officials, three referees and three assistant referees, have been appointed for this upcoming contest.

Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup 2022 from 21st November to 18th December 2022. A total of 32 teams will participate in this competition while a total of 64 matches will be played to decide one winner of this tournament.

FIFA World Cup 2022: 129 match officials, including six women

Last Thursday (19th May), the FIFA Referees Committee revealed the names of all 129 match officials, who will take the responsibility to conduct the matches in the FIFA World Cup 2022 in the best possible way.

FIFA Referees Committee has named 36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials for the upcoming men’s football World Cup. Among them, three referees and three assistant referees are women.

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Stephanie Frappart, women's referees
Stephanie Frappart (Image Credit: Twitter)

The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be the 22nd edition of the men’s football World Cup. Since the first edition of this tournament back in 1930, all the men’s football World Cup matches have been conducted only by men’s officials. But the upcoming edition will be the first experience for women’s referees and women’s assistant referees to conduct a men’s football World Cup match.  

These special six names are:

Women’s referees (Nationality)

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Stephanie Frappart (France)

Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda)

Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan)

Yoshimi Yamashita
Yoshimi Yamashita (Image Credit: Twitter)

Women’s assistant referees (Nationality)

Neuza Back (Brazil)

Karen Díaz Medina (Mexico)

Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)

FIFA Referees Committee chairman Pierluigi Collina expressed his happiness with this new development. He feels that this process should be normalised in future tournaments where quality will be counted instead of gender.  

Collina stated on the official website, “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.”

Selected women’s referees have already created history in men’s football

French referee Stephanie Frappart is highly popular to create history. She was the first woman to referee in men’s competitions like French Ligue 2 and Ligue 1, major men’s European tournaments, UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup Qualifier.

On the other hand, Salima Mukansanga became the first female referee to officiate in the African Cup of Nations, the African men’s international tournament, early this year.

Salima Mukansanga, FIFA World Cup 2022, Women's referees, women's assistant referees
Salima Mukansanga (Image Credit: Twitter)

In the meantime, Yoshimi Yamashita recently created history by becoming the first female referee to officiate in an AFC Champions League match, the most prestigious men’s club football competition in Asia. 


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