Frappart to become first female referee in France’s top football league

Franck Fife, AFP | Stéphanie Frappart will also referee at the women's World Cup in France this summer.

A men's top-flight match in France will be refereed by a woman for the first time this weekend when Stéphanie Frappart takes charge of the Ligue 1 game between Amiens and Strasbourg, the French Football Federation (FFF) has announced.


Frappart, 35, makes the step up having been a referee in Ligue 2, France’s second division, since 2014.

She will also referee at the women's World Cup, which will be held in France in June and July. Frappart previously officiated at the 2015 edition of that tournament and took charge of the women's under-20 World Cup final last year.

The FFF said the appointment for Sunday's match followed a request from FIFA to help referees involved in the World Cup "prepare in the best conditions".

Several people have expressed concern about the quality of refereeing at the forthcoming tournament, with England head coach Phil Neville saying his team’s match against Australia in October 2018 contained "maybe four of the poorest decisions I've ever seen".

In a recent interview with AFP, Frappart said she would see being appointed to a Ligue 1 game as "an acknowledgement of my competence".

She added: "I don't want to be given top billing or put in Ligue 1 just because I am a woman.”

Germany's Bibiana Steinhaus became the first female referee in one of the top European leagues when she took charge of a Bundesliga match between Hertha Berlin and Werder Bremen in September 2017.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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