Stephanie Frappart, fresh off officiating the Women’s World Cup final, will become the first woman to referee a major European men’s match after she was appointed by UEFA to take charge of the Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea on August 14 in Istanbul.
The 35-year-old French referee will officiate the match alongside the two assistant referees she worked with in the Women’s World Cup final, Manuela Nicolosi and Ireland’s Michelle O’Neal.
While Frappart is not the first female official to officiate a sanctioned UEFA match, with Swiss referee Nicole Petignat having taken charge of three Europa League qualifying matches between 2004 and 2009. Still, the appointment is significant as Frappart will continue the upward trend of inclusion in officiating selection moving forward. Frappart has experience in the men’s game, having officiated a Ligue 1 match last season Amiens and Strasbourg and is part of the selection pool for Ligue 1 games this coming season.
“As an organization, we place the utmost importance on the development of women’s football in all areas,” UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin said in a statement. “I hope the skill and devotion that Stephanie 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.”
Behind Frappart and the two female assistant referees will be a male fourth official in Cuneyt Cakir of Turkey, while Clement Turpin of France takes charge of VAR.
The UEFA Super Cup has been played since 1972, although the current iteration of the trophy played between the Champions League winners and Europa League/UEFA Cup winners has been in place since 1999.