FIFA have announced three female referees will officiate at a men’s World Cup finals for the first time later this year in Qatar.
Two of the Premier League’s male referees have also been chosen, but no British VAR officials will be working at the showpiece event.
In FIFA’s official list of 36 referees for the tournament, which begins in November, Stephanie Frappart of France, Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan have been included.
“This concludes a long process that began several years ago with the deployment of female referees at FIFA men’s junior and senior tournaments,” the chairman of FIFA’s referees’ committee Pierluigi Collina said.
“In this way, we clearly emphasise that it is quality that counts for us and not gender. I would hope that in the future, the selection of elite women’s match officials for important men’s competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational.
“They deserve to be at the FIFA World Cup because they constantly perform at a really high level, and that’s the important factor for us.”
Frappart has refereed in the men’s Champions League and the 2019 Super Cup match between Liverpool and Chelsea.
Three women are also on the list of 69 assistant referees – Neuza Back from Brazil, Karen Diaz Medina from Mexico and Kathryn Nesbitt from the United States.
There was also good news for English referees Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor as both were selected, having both been involved at Euro 2020 also.
However, while FIFA has named 24 video assistant referees (VARs) for the finals, none of them are British.
It follows years of heavy criticism of the system since its introduction in the English top flight, and the officials behind it making the decisions.
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