Stephanie Frappart is set to make history on Wednesday, when she becomes the first woman to referee a major UEFA’s men fixture — the UEFA Super Cup between Champions League winners Liverpool and Europa League winners Chelsea, in Istanbul, Turkey.
The 35-year-old Frenchwoman made history earlier this year when she took charge of a Ligue 1 fixture between Amiens and Strasbourg. It’s that experience, along with her years of experience and training, which have her and her crew featuring two female assistants — the same group that together officiated the Women’s World Cup final in July — feeling plenty prepared for the occasion (quotes from talkSPORT):
“Of course we feel ready. We train a lot, all the time, we’re not afraid of this game as we’re always ready for all the games.
“I think there is not a lot of difference, because football is the same. Refereeing is the same, football is the same, I would do the same I do in women’s football.”
“I’m now popular all over the world, but I was also appointed in Ligue 1, so I know the feelings and emotions and how to manage them and how to train for [the occasion]. This is not my first appointment.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard welcomed the inclusion of women into important roles in the men’s game, calling Frappart’s appointment “a historical moment”:
“I think the game has come on 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 is getting, how many people are watching it and the interest in the game.
“I think we were very slow everywhere on this and now we are trying to make strides, and there’s still a long way to go but in terms of tomorrow I think it’s a huge moment. It’s a historical moment that is one more step in the right direction.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp echoed Lampard’s sentiments, intimating that such a moment is long overdue.
“Finally, it’s time. I’m happy to be a part of this historic moment. It’s a smart decision to have women referee a very, very important game. It’s the first time, but I hope it’s not the last.”