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Article

20 May 2022

Author:
Tariq Panja, New York Times (USA)

Qatar: World Cup 2022 to be the first in tournament history to have female referees as FIFA appoints six women for the role

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"FIFA Picks First Female Officials for Men’s World Cup", May 19 2022

The Qatar World Cup was always going to be full of firsts: the first time it will be played in the Middle East; the first time it will be played in November and December. Now, it may also be the first men’s World Cup tournament in which a game is refereed by a woman.

FIFA on Thursday named three women among the 36 referees chosen to officiate at the event and three more in the group of assistants that will run the line at the monthlong tournament. The most likely candidate among the three to get a starring role is Stéphanie Frappart of France, who has broken a number of barriers in European soccer.

For FIFA, the push to include more women on and off the field has become increasingly urgent amid greater scrutiny of how it manages the sport...More money than ever has been invested in developing players and match officials. That, Collina said, should help make the sight, and inclusion, of female referees less of a talking point than it remains today.

That the opportunity for the first female officials to take part in a World Cup is taking place in a conservative Gulf state like Qatar adds to the intrigue...

“This concludes a long process that began several years ago with the deployment of female referees at FIFA men’s junior and senior tournaments...In this way, we clearly emphasize that it is quality that counts for us and not gender".
Pierluigi Collina, the chairman of the FIFA referees committee