Stéphanie Frappart is once again breaking ground with her appointment as the referee for the European Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea, making her the first woman to officiate a major UEFA men’s event.
The Union of European Football Associations, UEFA, announced Frappart’s appointment on Friday.
It added that the 35-year old French woman will also be leading a team of predominantly female officials including Manuela Nicollosi of France and Michelle O’Neal from the Republic of Ireland who will be working as assistant referees.
“I have said on many occasions that the potential for women’s football has no limits” said UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin.
Women breaking through
Frappart is not the first woman to referee a women’s UEFA competition match.
Swiss woman Nicole Petignat has officiated three UEFA Cup qualifying-round matches between 2004 and 2009.
But the Super Cup that Frappart will refereeing is the traditional curtain raiser to the season, between the winners of the Champions League and Europa League.
This year that match will take place at the Besiktas Park in Istanbul on August 14.
Frappart was also the first female referee to officiate a French league match back in April of this year.
Frappart moving on up
Since then, she has been promoted to the pool of French top-flight referees on a permanent basis for the upcoming season.
“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” added UEFA president.
She also refereed the final Women’s World Cup match in June between the Netherlands and the United States.
“She is capable of leading many high level meetings, as she proved during the final Women’s World Cup this year. I hope this game in Istanbul brings her many more experiences and that she reaches the highest level of her arbitration career” said Roberto Rosetti, the Chairman of the European Referees’ Committee.