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First all-female referee team makes history at the World Cup

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Referee Stephanie Frappart and assistant referees Neuza Back and Karen Diaz warm up at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar.

Referee Stephanie Frappart, center, and assistant referees Neuza Back, left, and Karen Diaz warm up prior to the World Cup group E soccer match between Costa Rica and Germany at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor , Qatar, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.

Hassan Ammar, Associated Press

Stéphanie Frappart, Neuza Back and Karen Diaz made history as the first all-female referee team to officiate a World Cup match last Thursday.

The female trio officiated Germany’s match against Costa Rica, and many fans on Twitter applauded FIFA for the move.

Why did this female trio make World Cup history?

Forbes reported this is the first time in World Cup history there has been a head female referee and an all-female officiating team during a World Cup match.

“It’s monumental because it’s changing the perspective of who is qualified to officiate soccer games, regardless of gender, regardless of whether it’s a male game or female game,” former FIFA referee and current CBS sports analyst Christina Unkel told NPR.

Not only did this female trio make history, but a total of six female referees have been participating in multiple matches throughout the World Cup.

“It’s a surprise, you cannot believe it and after two or three minutes, you realize that you are going to the World Cup. It’s amazing, not only for me, but also for my family and also for the French referees,” Frappart told CNN.

What are people saying?

“For once I can applaud something FIFA does: the first female referee in a WC match!” one Twitter user wrote. “It’s late, it’s not enough, should not hide the extent to which women are discriminated in football (as athletes but also in football governing bodies) but in itself it’s positive and powerful.”

The New York Times reported that Frappart has had an extensive list of accomplishments as a referee in multiple professional football matches. She also officiated two other matches in this World Cup before she led as head referee for Germany’s match against Costa Rica.

Unkel tweeted: “Full women #referee trio taking the pitch for the FIRST time in Men #WorldCup2022 - they are Qualified - sport is a platform to change biases & inspire millions. This is a beautiful game.”