Uefa Super Cup: referee Frappart with Premiere - Sport
- At the European Super Cup, Frenchman Stéphanie Frappart is the first woman to whistle at a major Uefa game in men's football.
- Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp speaks of a "historic moment" before the duel with Chelsea.
Referees are always best if they do not talk about them after the final whistle. Because that usually means that they have made no gross mistakes. No controversial penalty decision, no offside overlooked, something like that. The French referee Stéphanie Frappart is being talked about more and more often - but in her case that is a good thing.
2019 will be an intoxicating year for the 35-year-old referee, and things have been steadily uphill so far. In April she whistled as the first referee in the first French league a men's game. In July, she led one of the most important games in world football: the women's World Cup final in Lyon between the USA and the Netherlands (2-0). A few weeks later, the next gig comes on a big stage. In Istanbul, she whistles the Uefa Super Cup on Wednesday evening as the first woman. With Frappart named the Uefa for the first time a referee for a significant game in men's football.
For Frappart this premiere is by no means overwhelming. She felt "ready", she said before the duel between Champions League winner Liverpool and Europa League winner Chelsea. In Besiktas Park, Frappart is assisted by her assistants Manuela Nicolosi (Italy) and Michelle O'Neal (Ireland). The fourth official is the Turk Cuneyt Cakir. "We train all the time, we're not afraid, we're always ready," Frappart said. She looks soberly at this premiere, which has a social meaning: "For me it is the same, the football is the same, the rules are the same."
The reaction of Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp shows that it is not yet a matter of course that referees at this level will be entrusted with men's games. He spoke of a "historical moment". "It's time for that to happen," Klopp said. "There are so many things in the world where we obviously are not wise to make the right decision, this is a very wise decision to use a referee in a very, very important, a big game but i hope not last time. " Chelsea defender César Azpilicueta was "happy to see the world evolve". And Liverpool's defender Virgil van Dijk stressed that the gender of the referees play no role.
Stone house and Frappart still pretty much alone
The nomination of Frappart is a clear sign that strengthens the position of the referees in world football. With an audience of millions in front of the television, a signal is also sent to society. If a referee conducts a significant match with the men, it can only inspire young girls - not just those who are involved in refereeing.
Because referees in men's football are far from being everywhere. In addition to the Frenchwoman, the German Bibiana Steinhaus is the only woman who has already whistled in one of the great profile footballers. In England, Spain and Italy, the premieres are still pending. As the first woman ever in Uefa men's football, the Swiss Nicole Petignat had whistled between 2004 and 2009 three qualifiers for the Uefa Cup. For the Super Cup Bibiana Steinhaus might also have been a candidate. But she had injured herself during the World Cup and still is not fit. Most recently, she had to cancel a sports test that is needed to be active in the Bundesliga.
Frappart is already feeling a change in public perception since her nomination. "I am better known now," says the Frenchwoman, who led her first men's games at age 19 in France's seventh league. Due to her rise in France, she had been prepared for "the emotions". The hustle and bustle before the Super Cup was immense. How and if it is talked about Frappart, she has in her own hands.