The 36 referees, 69 assistant referees, and 24 video match officials must maintain their high standards, as they will be monitored in the coming months to insure their presence in Qatar.
FIFA has chosen three female referees and three female assistant referees to monitor the Qatar World Cup 2022 matches later this year, for the first time in the 92-year history of the men’s tournament.
Stephanie Frappart, 38, Yoshimi Yamashita, 36 and Salima Mukansanga, 33, are the chosen referees.
“We are very happy that with Stephanie Frappart from France, Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan, as well as assistant referees Neuza Back from Brazil, Karen Díaz Medina from Mexico and Kathryn Nesbitt from the USA, we have been able to call up female match officials for the first time in the history of a FIFA World Cup,” said the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina.
Three of the 69 assistant referees that have been summoned are women.
Neuza Back of Brazil, Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico and Kathryn Nesbitt of the United States are the winners.
Prior to the final selections, all candidates will receive additional training and guidance.
“In this way, we clearly emphasise that it is quality that counts for us and not gender,” said Collina. “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.”
Who are the women referees?
Frappart, who has been on the FIFA International Referees List since 2009, is perhaps the most well-known of the three.
She officiated the 2019 Women’s World Cup final before refereeing the UEFA Super Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea, later that year.
Frappart became the first female referee in the men’s UEFA Champions League when she officiated Juventus’ 3-0 victory over Dynamo Kyiv in December 2020.
The 38-year-old has won the IFFHS World’s Best Woman Referee award for a consecutive three years in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Yamashita, a Japanese referee, has made her mark in the Champions League history as well, albeit on a different continent.
Earlier this year, she became the first female referee to take command of a match in Asia’s AFC Champions League.
The 33-year-old is the youngest of the three female referees appointed. She has been interested in the field since childhood, and started her career as a teenager in Rwanda.
The 2022 World Cup will be Mukansanga’s second major men’s international competition in less than a year.
When Zimbabwe faced Guinea in the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations in January, Mukansanga led an all-female refereeing staff.
Both the Tokyo Olympics and the Women’s World Cup in France were monitored by the Rwandan national.
Mukansanga was the referee for the world’s highest-altitude football match, which took place on Mount Kilimanjaro back in 2017.