World Cup Finals to have female match officials for first time

Rwanda's Salima Mukansanga selected to referee at World Cup
Salima Mukansanga refereed the 2020 Olympic match between Great Britain and Chile. (Daniela Porcelli/Sports Press Photo)

For the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, female match officials have been appointed by the Referees Committee.

Stéphanie Frappart (France), Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda) and Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan) are the three referees that made the cut, as well as assistants Neuza Back (Brazil), Karen Díaz Medina (Mexico) and Kathryn Nesbitt (USA).

Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina, told fifa.com: “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 emphasise that it is quality that counts for us and not gender. I would hope that in the future, the selection of elite women’s match officials for important men’s competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational. 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.”

The selected match officials will participate in early summer in several seminars, reviewing and analysing video clips of real match situations, and taking part in practical training sessions with players, which will be filmed to enable participants to receive instant feedback from the instructors.

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