MEET STEPHANIE FRAPPART: THE FIRST WOMAN TO REFEREE A MAJOR EUROPEAN FIXTURE
Referee Stephanie Frappart hopes to inspire the next generation as she prepares to make history at the Super Cup.
Referee Stephanie Frappart says she is not “afraid” of the extra scrutiny she will face as she prepares to take charge of the Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea which is the most high-profile appointment ever for a women in men’s football.
“I think we’re the same,” Frappart said of male and female referees. “We have to prove technically and tactically we’re ready. I’m not afraid about that. Nothing changes about me.”
"I am very pleased to be a part of this moment in history" - Frank Lampard
Nothing may change about Frappart but Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard summed up the importance of a woman being chosen for such a prestigious fixture when he said: “It’s great news, great news. I am very pleased to be a part of this moment in history; it is very much due.
“The game has come a long way, in many ways in terms of the Women’s World Cup
“The game has come a long way, in many ways in terms of the Women’s World Cup which we all watched this summer. In terms of how much respect the game’s getting, how many people are watching it. We were very slow on this in many ways and they are now getting the interest. We are very pleased to be part of it and that we are making big strides in the development. It is a historical moment and another step in the right direction.”
That was echoed by Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta who said the selection of a woman referee had to be seen as “a natural thing” with the defender adding: “I’m happy to see the world is moving forward. With this opportunity I am sure everything will be fine. I don’t see any problem with that.”
It was at that competition that Roberto Rossetti, Uefa’s chief refereeing officer, made the decision to appoint Frappart even though the 35-year-old Frenchwoman, who is only 5ft 4in, has only taken charge of two Ligue Un matches which has come in for some criticism.
“She’s good. She’s really good,” Rossetti said. “She did a great season last season. She did a great World Cup technically she is good physically she runs like a man referee, she runs a lot. Mentally she is very strong…This is the main reason. Then I hope she will inspire thousand and thousand of young female referees around the world.
“She is ready for this match and then it is not a matter of gender because everyone can make mistakes.”