UEFA is breaking new ground by appointing Stéphanie Frappart to referee the UEFA Super Cup on 14 August. This will be the first time that a female official takes charge of a major UEFA men’s competition event – a showpiece match seen as the curtain-raiser to the new season, pitting the UEFA Champions League holders against the winners of the UEFA Europa League at Beşiktaş Park in Istanbul.
In July, the Frenchwoman had the honour of refereeing the FIFA Women’s World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands in Lyon. She also took charge of the 2017 UEFA Women’s EURO semi-final where the Netherlands played England.
Frappart will lead a team made up mostly of female officials. She will be accompanied by Manuela Nicolosi of France and Michelle O’Neill from the Republic of Ireland who will be the assistant referees for the match. The pair, like Frappart, also officiated at the Women’s World Cup final on 7 July. The fourth official will be Turkey’s Cuneyt Cakir.
“I have said on many occasions that the potential for women’s football has no limits and I am delighted that Stéphanie Frappart has been appointed to officiate at this year’s UEFA Super Cup along with assistant referees Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O’Neill,” said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
“As an organisation, we place the utmost importance on the development of women’s football in all areas. 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.”
UEFA chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti praised Frappart’s ability as an official and said she “fully deserves” the opportunity to oversee such a high-profile fixture.
“Stéphanie has proved over a number of years that she is one of the best female referees, not just in Europe but across the world,” said Rosetti.
“She has the ability to officiate on the biggest stage, as she proved at this year’s Women’s World Cup final. I hope this match in Istanbul will provide her with yet more experience as she enters the prime of her refereeing career.”
Frappart created history domestically in France as she became the first female referee to officiate a Ligue 1 match, as she took charge of the match between SC Amiens and RC Strasbourg in April. In June, it was announced that the Val-d’Oise native would be promoted to join the pool of Ligue 1 referee on a permanent basis for the 2019/20 season.
However, the 35-year-old Frappart is not the first female referee assigned to a men’s UEFA competition match. That honour went to Switzerland’s Nicole Petignat who refereed three UEFA Cup qualifying round games between 2004 and 2009.
Video Assistant Referees (VAR) will be used for the UEFA Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea. The VAR official will be Clement Turpin from France, and he will be aided by fellow countryman François Letexier, Mark Borsch of Germany and Italy’s Massimiliano Irrati.