Frappart becomes first female World Cup ref
Referee Stéphanie Frappart (centre), assistant referees Neuza Back (left) and Karen Diaz Medina warm up prior to the Fifa World Cup Group E match between Costa Rica and Germany at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar yesterday. (Photo: AP)

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — French referee Stéphanie Frappart became the first woman to take charge of a men's Fifa World Cup game yesterday as she blew her whistle to start Germany's game against Costa Rica.

Frappart also had two women as assistants — Neuza Back of Brazil and Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico — to complete an all-female refereeing team on the field.

Kathryn Nesbitt of the United States was also working at the Al Bayt Stadium as the offside specialist in the video review team.

Fifa has two other women, Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan, on its list to referee games at the tournament in Qatar.

Frappart had been picked previously for duties as the fourth official.

The 38-year-old Frenchwoman was promoted in the men's game by European football body UEFA and in her home country and she has already refereed men's games in World Cup qualifying and the Champions League. She also took charge of this year's men's French Cup final and the 2019 Women's World Cup final for Fifa.

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