The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is breaking new ground by appointing Stéphanie Frappart of France to referee the UEFA Super Cup on 14 August.
This will be the first time in history that a female official takes charge of a major UEFA men's competition event – a showpiece match seen as the curtain-raiser to the new season, pitting the UEFA Champions League holders Liverpool against the winners of the UEFA Europa League, Chelsea, at Beşiktaş Park at Istanbul in Turkey.
As in the Women’s World Cup final, Stéphanie Frappart will be assisted by compatriot Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O'Neal from the Republic of Ireland. The fourth official will be Turkey's Cuneyt Cakir.
At the 2019 #SuperCup in Istanbul, a female official will take charge of a major UEFA men's competition event for the first time ever.— UEFA (@UEFA) August 2, 2019
Huge congratulations to Stéphanie Frappart and her predominantly female team of officials on the appointment 👏https://t.co/KHrJiRAY7Q
In July, Frappart had the honour of refereeing the FIFA Women's World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands in Lyon. She also took charge of the UEFA Women's EURO 2017 semi-final, where the Dutch hosts played England, and refereed the final of the 2012 UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship, also in Turkey.
Frappart created history domestically in France in April as she became the first female referee to officiate a men’s Ligue 1 match, between Amiens and Strasbourg. The Val-d'Oise native has now been promoted to join the pool of Ligue 1 referees on a permanent basis for the 2019/20 season.
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said: “I have said on many occasions that the potential for women's football has no limits and I am delighted that Stéphanie Frappart has been appointed to officiate at this year's UEFA Super Cup along with assistant referees Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O'Neal.
"As an organisation, we place the utmost importance on the development of women's football in all areas. I hope the skill and devotion that Stéphanie has shown throughout her career to reach this level will provide inspiration to millions of girls and women around Europe and show them there should be no barriers in order to reach one's dream."
UEFA chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti praised Frappart's ability as an official and said she "fully deserves" the opportunity to oversee such a high-profile fixture.
"Stéphanie 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," Rosetti added.
The 35-year-old Frappart is not the first female referee assigned to a men's UEFA competition match. That honour went to Nicole Petignat, who refereed three UEFA Cup qualifying round games between 2004 and 2009.
Video Assistant Referees (VAR) will be used in Istanbul. The VAR official will be Clement Turpin from France, and he will be aided by fellow countryman François Letexier, Mark Borsch of Germany and Italy's Massimiliano Irrati.
(Based on a report published by uefa.com)