Stephanie Frappart will become the first female Ligue 1 referee during Sunday’s match between Amiens and Strasbourg.
Dimanche, à l'occasion de la rencontre #ASCRCSA comptant pour la 34e journée, Stéphanie Frappart sera la première femme arbitre centrale d'un match de @Ligue1Conforama https://t.co/0Bq1ZZzKG0 pic.twitter.com/U1ySogxWF3
— Ligue 1 Conforama (@Ligue1Conforama) April 23, 2019
Stephanie Frappart, 35, will officiate at the Women’s World Cup this summer but not before making history in France. The Amiens-Strasbourg match isn’t exactly a huge top-of-the-table clash, but with Amiens still under threat of relegation, it’s massive for the home side.
Ligue 1 will be the second major European league to have a woman center referee after Bibiana Steinhaus in the Bundesliga. Steinhaus’ landmark first match was in September of 2017. Steinhaus will also officiate at this summer’s Women’s World Cup.
Like Steinhaus, Frappart gained experience in men’s the second division before earning the call up to the top flight. Frappart has been a referee in Ligue 2 since 2014.
Ligue 1 has had female assistant referees — as have other leagues, such as the English Premier League — but never a female center referee.
Women’s leagues consistently have male referees (and coaches), so it’s about time men’s leagues have female referees (and coaches). There really aren’t any reasons why it shouldn’t be more widespread; as opportunities for women in soccer increase, we should expect to see more women officiating men’s matches.