FIFA have announced three female referees will officiate at a men’s World Cup finals for the first time later this year in Qatar.
Stephanie Frappart of France, Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan have been selected on FIFA’s official list of 36 referees for the tournament, which kicks off on November 21.
There are also three women in the 69 assistant referees – Neuza Back of Brazil, Mexican Karen Diaz Medina and Kathryn Nesbitt from the United States.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the female referees who will take charge in Qatar.
The 38-year-old has been on the FIFA international referees list since 2009, becoming the first female official of a Ligue 1 match in April 2019 for Amiens against Strasbourg.
Frappart was appointed to take charge of the 2019 Women’s World Cup final between the United States and Holland and then the men’s UEFA Super Cup match when Liverpool faced Chelsea in Istanbul during August.
In December 2020, she became the first woman to referee a men’s UEFA Champions League game when she took charge of Juventus against Dynamo Kyiv.
She broke new ground again in March 2021 when officiating a men’s World Cup qualifier between Holland and Latvia, then was also in charge for Northern Ireland’s 4-1 win away to Lithuania in September that year.
Having officiated at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Yamashita also was a referee at the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics in her home nation.
During May 2021, Yamashita, 36, made history as the first female referee of a J League game at a third division fixture between YSCC Yokohama and Tegevajaro Miyazaki.
The 36-year-old took charge of matches at the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and, in April, she became the first female referee of a AFC Champions League tie as Melbourne City beat South Korean side Jeonnam Dragons.
The 33-year-old became the first woman referee at the Africa Cup of Nations finals when in January she took charge of the group match between Zimbabwe and Guinea, which saw an all-female officiating team.
Mukansanga – who holds a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Midwifery from the University of Gitwe – was the referee for the final of 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations between hosts Cameroon and Nigeria.
She also has experience from the CAF Women’s Champions League and the 2019 Women’s World Cup as well as the 2020 Olympics, when she took charge of Great Britain’s 2-0 win over Chile in Sapporo.