FIFA selects three female referees for 2022 World Cup in Qatar

FIFA also selected three female assistants. This marks the first time women will referee the FIFA World Cup

Soccer Football - Africa Cup of Nations - Group B - Zimbabwe v Guinea - Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaounde, Cameroon - January 18, 2022 Referee Salima Mukansanga before the match REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Soccer Football - Africa Cup of Nations - Group B - Zimbabwe v Guinea - Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaounde, Cameroon - January 18, 2022 Referee Salima Mukansanga before the match REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

In a landmark decision by FIFA, world football’s governing body will have female referees at the men’s World Cup for the first time in history.

FIFA announced 129 officials were selected for World Cup duty, including three female referees and three female assistant referees.

Frenchwoman Stéphanie Frappart has experience officiating FIFA World Cup qualifying matches and also UEFA Champions League matches. She also was a referee in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.

Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan were also selected as main referees, while Neuza Back of Brazil, Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico and Kathryn Nesbitt of the United States will serve as assistant referees.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Soccer Football - Women - Group F - Brazil v Zambia - Saitama Stadium, Saitama, Japan - July 27, 2021. Referee Yoshimi Yamashita and staff before the match REUTERS/Molly Darlington
Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Soccer Football - Women - Group F - Brazil v Zambia - Saitama Stadium, Saitama, Japan - July 27, 2021. Referee Yoshimi Yamashita and staff before the match REUTERS/Molly Darlington

“As always, the criteria we have used is quality first,” said FIFA Referees Committee Chairman Pierluigi Collina. “The selected match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide. We clearly emphasize quality, not gender.”

“I would hope in the future the selection of elite women’s match officials for important men’s competitions will be perceived ad something normal, and not sensational.”

It has not been determine which matches the three women will officiate. The FIFA World Cup begins Nov. 21 in Qatar and runs through Dec. 18.