About Boardroom

Boardroom is a media network that covers the business of sports, entertainment. From the ways that athletes, executives, musicians and creators are moving the business world forward to new technologies, emerging leagues, and industry trends, Boardroom brings you all the news and insights you need to know...

At the forefront of industry change, Boardroom is committed to unique perspectives on and access to the news, trending topics and key players you need to know.

All Rights Reserved. 2022.

Who Is Stephanie Frappart?

Frappart will be joined by Neuza Back and Karen Diaz in an all-women officiating crew for the Costa Rica-Germany match at the World Cup on Thursday.

In light of all the disturbing news coming out of Qatar, at least there’s some good news for humanity — Stephanie Frappart, Neuza Back, and Karen Diaz will become the first all-women refereeing team for a men’s World Cup match. They’ll take charge of the Costa Rica-Germany Group E match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Thursday.

“We clearly emphasize that it is quality that counts for us and not gender,” Pierluigi Collina, FIFA’s head of refereeing, said in May. “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 have earned their stripes, regardless of gender.

“[It] speaks volumes of this woman and her commitment, especially in this sport, which is a sexist sport,” Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez said about head ref Stephanie Frappart. “It is difficult to reach the level she has reached. It is another positive step for football. It shows that football is for everyone.”

Frappart, 38, will become the first woman to take charge of a men’s World Cup game on Thursday. On top of that, she’ll be working with two women assistant referees. Coaches and players alike believe merit rules over all.

“We don’t really look out for who is refereeing us [to see] whether they are a man or a woman,” German defender Lukas Klostermann said. “We think it’s normal and we hope it stays that way.”

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

Frappart began refereeing youth games at the age of 13, refereeing national U19 games by the time she was 18.

  • 2011: Frappart began to ref matches in the Championnat National, the third division of men’s football.
  • 2014: Became the first woman to referee in Ligue 2, the second tier of pro men’s football in France.
  • 2015: Served as a referee at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
  • 2019: Officiated the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Later, refereed the championship match between the USA and the Netherlands.
  • 2019: Became the first female referee in Ligue 1, then became the first woman to officiate a major men’s European match between Liverpool and Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.
  • 2020: Became the first woman to referee a UEFA Champions League match between Juventus and Dynamo Kyiv.
  • 2021: She became the first woman to officiate a FIFA World Cup qualifier (Netherlands-Latvia).

On Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, she will become the first woman to referee a men’s FIFA World Cup match. In September, Frappart said she hoped the presence of female referees in Qatar would “make things happen” on a broader level.

Here she is, with Back and Diaz by her side. And they’re ready to go.

“The men’s World Cup is the most important sporting competition in the world,” Frappart said in FIFA’s statement announcing the assignment. “I was the first referee in France and in Europe, so I know how to deal with it.”

Read More:

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

About The Author
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. Puccio has 10 years of experience in journalism and content creation, previously working for SB Nation, The Associated Press, New York Daily News, SNY, and Front Office Sports. In 2016, he received New York University's CCTOP scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from St. John's University. He can be spotted a mile away thanks to his plaid suits and thick New York accent. Don't believe us? Check his Twitter @APooch.