Female referees will make World Cup history this year by working games at a major men’s tournament for the first time in Qatar. Three female referees and three female assistant referees were announced yesterday by FIFA among 129 officials selected for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 duty
French referee Stéphanie Frappart already worked men’s games in World Cup qualifying and the Champions League, after handling the 2019 Women’s World Cup final. She also refereed the final of the men’s French Cup this month.
Meanwhile, four Qatari match officials were selected by the FIFA Referees Committee to officiate matches at the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
FIFA selected Abdulrahman Al Jassim as Referee, Taleb Al Marri and Saoud Ahmed Al Maqaleh as Assistant Referees, and Abdulla Al Marri as Video Match Official.
“As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’ and the selected match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide,” said FIFA Referees Committee chairman Pierluigi Collina, who worked the 2002 World Cup final. “In this way, we clearly emphasise that it is quality that counts for us and not gender.”
Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan are also on the list of 36 referees preparing for the 64 games at the tournament, which will be played from November 21 to December 18. The 69 assistant referees include Neuza Back of Brazil, Karen Díaz Medina of Mexico and Kathryn Nesbitt of the United States.
“I would hope that in the future the selection of elite women’s match officials for important men’s competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational,” Collina said.
Sikazwe will be working at his second World Cup after handling two group games at the 2018 tournament in Russia.
FIFA has picked 24 men to work on video reviews. The VAR system made its debut in 2018. FIFA said 50 referee-and-assistant trios began preparing in 2019 for World Cup duty, with the project affected by limits on international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two referees were picked from each of Argentina, Brazil, England and France. All the officials - who were not allocated into specific teams of three - face future technical, physical and medical assessments this year, FIFA said.