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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The first ever female officials at a men’s World Cup have been chosen by FIFA

It was inevitable that the 2022 FIFA World Cup would include a number of firsts, including the tournament’s first appearance in the Middle East and the first time it has been staged in the months of November and December. Now, there is a possibility that this may be the first men’s World Cup competition in which a female official officiates one of the games.

FIFA announced on Thursday the names of three female referees who will be among the 36 officials who will be working at the event. Additionally, FIFA announced the names of three female assistant referees who will be working at the event. Stéphanie Frappart of France, who has broken a lot of boundaries in European soccer, is the most probable contender among the three to obtain a major role. She is the only one who has played professionally.

France’s top division, and World Cup qualification games. She also holds the distinction of being the first woman to referee in the World Cup. This past month, she served as a referee for the championship game of the French Cup for men.

Frappart was also selected to participate in the officiating teams in the European Championship that took place the previous summer; however, her duty was restricted to that of fourth official, which is a function on the sideline between the benches of the opposing teams.

When FIFA finally makes its refereeing announcement, the governing body could decide to take things a step further. Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan are the newest members of the refereeing crew. They will be working with Frappart. They, along with the other officials who will be attending the World Cup, will attend seminars to prepare for the competition, wfhich will include 32 teams.

Women from the North American region have also been chosen to serve as assistant referees throughout the competition. Karen Daz Medina of Mexico is going to be playing with Major League Soccer veteran Kathryn Nesbitt for the first time. In addition to that, you will get Neuza Back from Brazil.

A rising interest in women’s soccer on a worldwide scale has resulted in increased scrutiny of FIFA’s management of the sport, which has increased the organization’s sense of urgency about its campaign to incorporate more women both on and off the field. The training of players and officials for matches has received an unprecedented amount of financial support. As a result, according to Collina, the presence and participation of female referees should become less of a topic of conversation than it continues to be today.

However, the atmosphere and the spotlight that is placed on female officials may be demanding. Before and after she refereed the French Cup game, which was ultimately decided by a penalty call, Frappart was subjected to threatening and hateful remarks on social media.

A statement made by Frappart before to the aforementioned game indicated that she avoided social media and seldom read the news. She added, “Personally, I am focused on what happens on the field and don’t pay attention to issues or comments about my performances.” “Personally, I am focused on what happens on the pitch.”

The fact that the World Cup will be held in Qatar, a conservative Gulf state, during the first time that female officials will have the ability to participate in the tournament adds to the mystery. In some shops and eateries located inside the little emirate, males travelling in groups are not permitted to visit the sections of the enterprises that are reserved for women or families. On the other hand, access to the stadiums will not be limited in any way.

When it comes to the administration of its multibillion-dollar competition, FIFA has gotten more inventive in recent years. The tournament’s most recent two iterations both included the use of goal line technology. In the most recent one, which took place in Russia, FIFA used video assisted refereeing, which mostly did not disrupt the natural flow of the game.

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was also utilised for the most recent Women’s World Cup, which took place in France in 2019. Despite this, its usage is not yet widespread in the sport, mostly due to the expenses associated with maintaining it. Because of this, FIFA has said that the majority of the players on the teams at the controls are from Europe and South America.

The epidemic made it more difficult to choose referees for the event, which is also one of the reasons why FIFA made its announcements sooner than it normally would have. “We want to work even harder with all those who have been selected for the FIFA World Cup, monitoring them in the following months,” said Collina, a former referee for the World Cup final match.

Additionally, FIFA wants to guarantee that its officials can keep up with players who are fitter than they have ever been before. For this reason, the group said that it would provide each official with a strategy to follow so that they could arrive in Qatar in the best possible shape. According to Massimo Busacca, the director of refereeing for FIFA, “each match official will be carefully monitored in the next months, with a final assessment on technical, physical, and medical aspects to be made shortly before the World Cup.” This statement was made by Busacca.

Dan O'Brien
I am a journalist for The National Era with an emphasis in sports.
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