World Cup Nov 16, 2022; Doha, QATAR; A giant soccer ball sits on the Corniche Waterfront ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

In a flex on equality, FIFA tweeted during the Poland-Mexico match that the French head referee Stephanie Frappert is the first woman ever to officiate a world cup match in the 96 years of the FIFA World Cup‘s existence. 

Still, one has to ask whether or not FIFA kept this in their back pocket to pull out to prove how progressive they are during a tournament that is far and away one of the most corrupt in recent history. 

Either way, it is fantastic to see, despite how late and minimal the impact is, FIFA making some attempt to uplift a historically marginalized group of people when it could ruffle the gilded feathers of their cartoonishly oppressive backers

Per The Athletic, “Having already refereed in Ligue 1 and the men’s Champions League, she is now officiating at the men’s World Cup, along with two other female referees, Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita. It is the first time female referees have been selected for the men’s World Cup.”

Whether Frappart will call any games between countries with past and present women’s rights violations–Saudi ArabiaQatar, and Iran–is still to be determined. 

[FIFA] [The Athletic]

About Mike Gawdzik

A fan of the Red Devils and White Sox, Mike Gawdzik is a high school English teacher by day and a writer by night. He tries to write what he knows, like when he was a drag queen for a day or when he competed in an amateur boxing tournament in South Korea. When reading student essays isn’t enough for him, he’s also the creative nonfiction editor for Flying Island and Sport Literate.