Stephanie Frappart hopes UEFA Super Cup Final "serves as an example" to girls aspiring to be referees

French referee becomes first woman to take charge of major European men's football match when Liverpool and Chelsea meet in Istanbul

It's been a year to remember for Stephanie Frappart.

In April, she became the first woman to take charge of a game in France's top flight, Ligue 1, a goalless draw between Amiens and Strasbourg.

In July, the 35-year-old refereed the FIFA Women's World Cup Final in Lyon where reigning champions the United States beat the Netherlands 2-0.

Stephanie Frappart officiating during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France
Stephanie Frappart officiating during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in FranceStephanie Frappart officiating during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France

Now Frappart has been handed the whistle for the UEFA Super Cup Final in Istanbul with Mo Salah and Champions League winners Liverpool facing Europa League victors Chelsea.

This will make her the first woman to oversee a major European men's match.

"I'm very happy, and it was really a surprise. It's a great honour for me, and for female referees as well." - Stephanie Frappart speaking to UEFA.com

She has the same assistants as in Lyon with compatriot Manuela Nicolosi and Irishwoman Michelle O'Neill running the line.

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final officials (L-R): referee Stephanie Frappart, assistant Manuela Nicolosi, reserve Anna-Marie Keighley, assistant Michelle O'Neill
2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final officials (L-R): referee Stephanie Frappart, assistant Manuela Nicolosi, reserve Anna-Marie Keighley, assistant Michelle O'Neill2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final officials (L-R): referee Stephanie Frappart, assistant Manuela Nicolosi, reserve Anna-Marie Keighley, assistant Michelle O'Neill

"Fully concentrated on the game"

This latest accolade is further proof of Frappart's rising reputation within the game.

At the end of last season, she was promoted to the permanent pool of referees for Ligue 1.

Millions around the world watched her take charge of the Women's World Cup Final on home soil.

Speaking at a news conference in Istanbul on the eve of the Super Cup Final, she said of the match in Lyon, "It was magnificent – all the more so because it was in France. The stadium was packed for a big occasion featuring two fine teams. It was an exceptional moment."

And she insists that she will not change her methods or style for officiating a men's match.

"Football is the same. It's the same rules so I will do the same as the women's game."

On her assistants, she said, "I think as a team, we’ll all have a chance to savour the occasion before and after the match. But it’s essential that we’re fully concentrated on the game at the right time.

“We’ll be able to study the two teams beforehand – this opportunity to learn how the teams play is a big help to us, it’s crucial for us. I think it’s essential that referees are respected by the players on the field, and that they can live with the pressures."

"I hope it serves as an example to female referees, and to any young girls who may aspire to be a referee."

Stephanie Frappart speaks to USA's Alex Morgan and the Netherlands' Dominique Bloodworth during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final
Stephanie Frappart speaks to USA's Alex Morgan and the Netherlands' Dominique Bloodworth during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup FinalStephanie Frappart speaks to USA's Alex Morgan and the Netherlands' Dominique Bloodworth during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final

Breaking through

Frappart is the latest woman official to make an impact in the men's game.

German Bibiana Steinhaus was the first to referee in the Europe's premier men's leagues, supervising her first Bundesliga match in September 2017.

Steinhaus also worked at this year's Women's World Cup and told Olympic Channel that she believed a woman would one day referee the men's World Cup final.

Bibiana Steinhaus exclusive: Life as Europe's leading female referee

Bibiana Steinhaus exclusive: Life as Europe's leading female referee

Frappart began refereeing alongside playing as a teenager before choosing to focus her efforts on adjudicating matches at 20.

While Steinhaus has undoubtedly been someone to aspire to, she commented, "I’ve not had a role model, but I’ve watched a lot of referees and they’ve all had some influence on me. A lot of people within the French FA have also given me good advice to follow."

UEFA Referees Committee Chairman Roberto Rosetti says Frappart has his full backing,

He told UEFA.com, "Stephanie has proved over a number of years that she is one of the best female referees, not just in Europe but across the world.

"She has the ability to officiate on the biggest stage, as she proved at this year's Women's World Cup final. I hope this match in Istanbul will provide her with yet more experience as she enters the prime of her refereeing career."

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