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Stephanie Frappart makes Champions League History as the first woman to Refree in men’s Clash

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Stephanie Frappart will be the first woman in the Juventus match against Dynamo Kiev to referee a men’s Champions League match.

On Wednesday, the Frenchwoman will take care of the clash in Turin, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s side already qualified for the round-of-16.

With former referee Nicole Petingnat officiating three UEFA cup qualifying round games between 2004 and 2009, it is a first for UEFA in the competitive phase of the competition.

Yet Frappart has been paving the way throughout her career for female referees.

In 2009, the 36-year-old was first identified as a FIFA referee, taking on matches two years later in men’s third-division French football.

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And in 2014, before international football came calling, she saw the official move up of a league in her own country.

At the 2015 Women’s World Cup, which saw the USA defeat Japan and England taking third place, Frappart was part of the refereeing squad.

April 2019 proved to be a sensational month for the referee, finding out that she would officiate matches in Ligue 1 as well as in her native country for the next international women’s tournament.

At the end of the month, Frappart’s first match came in the 0-0 draw between Amiens and Strasbourg.

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Frappart then took charge of the tournament final in Lyon, getting it through the Women’s World Cup group stages.

It proved to be a busy game for her, giving USA holders a penalty on the hour after a foul on Alex Morgan was highlighted by VAR before Megan Rapinoe scored the opener in a 2-0 victory.

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As the Frenchwoman was then confirmed as the referee for the Super Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea, however, 2019 had even more for Frappart.

This saw her becoming the first woman to officiate a big men’s European match that the Champions League holders of Jurgen Klopp won after a 2-2 draw in regulation time on penalties.

It was another match that saw the Frenchwoman at the center of focus, ruling out a Christian Pulisic goal in the first half following Adrian’s tackle on Tammy Abraham before awarding the Blues a stoppage-time penalty.

With Jorginho slotting, it was the missed spot-kick by the English forward that handed Liverpool victory.

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Frappart was refereeing in Ligue 1 before Covid-19 suspended football, while also taking on the inaugural second-leg of the Champions Cup in November 2019 between Dundalk of the Republic of Ireland and Linfield of Northern Ireland.

As the League of Ireland champions won 6-0, the match saw the official appearance of two yellow cards.

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Frappart was also rewarded in the center for her service, receiving last year’s Dubai Gloce Soccer Awards honour for Best Referee of the Year.

But it’s not the first European men’s game that the Frenchwoman has taken over this season, taking on Zorya Luhansk as well as Granada vs Omonia Nicosia to win Leicester’s Europa League.

About Kirigaya Kazuto

Kazuto Kirigaya, born as Kazuto Narusaka, is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Sword Art Online series of light novels written by Reki Kawahara.

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