AMSTERDAM/VIENNA: Stéphanie Frappart and Kateryna Monzul are to become the first female match officials to take charge of men’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Frappart will referee the match between the Netherlands and Latvia in Amsterdam on Saturday while Monzul will oversee Austria v Faroe Islands in Vienna on Sunday.

Pierluigi Collina, Italian chairman of the FIFA referees committee, said: “Although they already had some matches in important men’s competitions under their belts, officiating a FIFA World Cup qualifier for the first time is special and is something to be very proud of.

“They have worked very hard in recent years and these appointments are recognition for the good job that they have done.”

The appointment of female match officials for these high-stakes men’s World Cup qualifiers is another milestone on the path set by FIFA, in collaboration with the confederations, to further the development of female refereeing.

The recent Club World Cup in Qatar featured Brazilian referee Edina Alves Batista and two assistant referees Neuza Back and Mariana de Almeida.

Frappart: Final role a huge source of pride

Frappart has experienced a number of career highlights in the last two years.

In 2019 she refereed the final of the Women’s World Cup™ between United States and Netherlands in her native France. She has also gained valuable experience in men’s matches in major continental competitions, and is an integral part of the refereeing team in the French men’s top flight, Ligue 1.

Monzul, who oversaw the final of the Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2015 not only referees matches in the Ukrainian men’s Premier League, but is also frequently called upon to officiate in European club and national-team competitions.

Kateryna Monzul

Mexican and American female match officials also made their mark in the opening rounds of Concacaf World Cup qualifying this window.

History was already made during Suriname’s 3-0 win over the Cayman Islands on Wednesday, when Karen Díaz Medina (assistant referee) and Francia González (fourth official) were on duty with referee Jorge Antonio Pérez Durán and assistant referee Andrés Hernández Delgado in the Surinamese capital of Paramaribo.

In the process, Díaz Medina and González became the first female match officials to work a men’s World Cup qualifier in the Concacaf region.

How an analytical chemist became one of the world's top officials
Three female assistant referees (Kathryn Nesbitt, Jennifer Garner and Brooke Mayo) and one female fourth official (Tori Penso) from the USA will be officiating various World Cup qualifying matches in the Concacaf region this week.