Champions League

Stephanie Frappart Becomes First Woman to Referee Champions League Match

In a giant leap for football towards gender equality, Stephanie Frappart became the first female referee to officiate a men’s match in a Champions League game. She did this in the game between Juventus and Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday night at Allianz Stadium.

Wednesday’s game was a match that had many records set, highlight was Ronaldo scoring his 750th career goal. He also set the dubious record of scoring against Dynamo after 13 years and 25 years. That’s the longest a player has taken to score against the same opponent in the Champions League’s history.

Born in France, on 14th December 1983, Stephanie Frappart has been on the FIFA International Referees List since 2009.

She has previously refereed several high-profile games including the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

This is not the first FIRST for Stephanie Frappart:

In 2014, the French became the first woman to referee in Ligue 2 game.

On 28th April 2019, she became the first woman to referee a Ligue 1 game. She did this when she officiated the game between SC Amiens and RC Strasbourg.

On 2nd August 2019, she was appointed to referee the 2019 UEFA Super Cup match between Chelsea and Liverpool. That made her the first woman to officiate a major men’s European match.

In October 2020, she officiated her first Europa League game when Leicester City hosted Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk.

How does she feel about it:

After the Super Cup game, she told CNN that although officiating the biggest games in women’s football helped her adjust to the pressure of working in men’s football, the size of the crowd’s were a real step up for her.

It was a pretty special feeling when you walked out in the stadium and the crowd were actually cheering for us. I’ve never experienced that and in such a big, big match. In the warm-up I looked around and I was like, the other teams aren’t here so they have to be cheering for us.

When you looked up at the crowd — I normally don’t engage with the crowd — they were looking at us and a few were waving and giving us thumbs up and congratulations. I thought that was pretty special.

Stephanie FrapparT, as told to CNN

As for this year, she has officiated 18 La Liga games, 2 Europa League games, and now a Champions League game. Who knows what’s in store for her next.

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