Stephanie Frappart, the French referee who gave Chelsea a contentious penalty in the Super Cup earlier this year, will make history by becoming the first female to officiate a Champions League match when Juventus host Dynamo Kiev.
The 36-year-old started refereeing at the age of 13, choosing to pursue officiating rather than playing as a 20-year-old because she felt the women’s game did not offer her enough of a career path.
After becoming the first woman to officiate a men’s match in the French Ligue 1 in 2019, she was catapulted into the spotlight later that year when she was awarded the Super Cup showpiece between Chelsea and Liverpool – an assignment that was not without incident.
She booked Cesar Azpilicueta as the Chelsea captain bellowed in her face, then awarded his side an extra-time penalty when she adjudged Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian to have felled England striker Tammy Abraham inside the penalty area.
A PIECE OF HISTORY Juventus v Dynamo Kyiv will he officiated by Stephanie Frappart on WednesdayIt will be the FIRST time a female referee will oversee a senior men’s UCL matchFrappart has already reffed a game involving ?? sides in ?? this season: Leicester 3-0 Zorya in UEL pic.twitter.com/iZMIBumxAy
Lovely moment, Stephanie Frappart given a heroes welcome. Sticks a ball in the back of the net from the penalty spot. #CFC#SuperCup#LFCpic.twitter.com/7fTeCAThN9
I just took my time to watch the penalties from #supercup finals today, as I stopped watching after the first 90minutes last night.One of the Highlights for me was seeing an all female referee team headed by Stephanie Frappart to officiate #liverpoolvschelsea#SuperCup#LIVCHEpic.twitter.com/CraUuzG0Id
A Video Assistant Referee check did not intervene as Frappart was not deemed to have made a clear and obvious error, although Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said he was “not sure” about the decision and Adrian insisted he had made minimal contact, adding that Abraham had been “looking for it”.
Klopp also led widespread praise for Frappart, admiring her ability to “stay calm” and “decide very important things in a very difficult and intense game”.
“I told the ref team after the game that if we would have played like they whistled, we would have won 6-0,” the coach told Liverpool’s official website after his side’s victory on penalties.
“That was my absolute opinion. They played a brilliant game. Whatever you could have thought before the game, there was pressure on them like hell with an historic moment.”
Frappart will oversee the world’s most high-profile male player on Wednesday when she takes charge of Cristiano Ronaldo and Juve’s match in Turin against Dynamo.
Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta protests to referee Stephanie Frappart during the UEFA Super Cup final in Istanbul. #UEFASuperCuppic.twitter.com/O6fgtQlJAv
Stephanie Frappart and co. keeping the peace. And without cards, at that. Azpilicueta’s (admittedly quite innocuous) yellow was the first booking all night, in the 79th minute. pic.twitter.com/s92EGPzAes
There was an incident, some moments ago, that I feel some picture eds will love to use tomorrow.Yes, Cesar Azpilicueta did shout in the face of referee Stephanie Frappart.Just as he does to every other ref he comes up against as Chelsea captain.As you were.
The game is essentially meaningless in terms of qualification for the Champions League knockout stages, although a win for the hosts, who are already through, would improve their chances of beating Barcelona to the top of the group and earning a more favorable draw in the round of 16.
Dynamo cannot catch their opponents or Barca but are level with Hungarian newcomers Ferencváros in the battle for third place, which would secure a spot in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Frappart is approaching the accepted peak years for referees and called her appointment to the Women’s World Cup final last year an “exceptional moment”.
“I’m sure that the final, and the entire World Cup, has attracted new supporters to women’s football,” she told UEFA.com at the time.
“The tournament showed just how women’s football has developed in terms of technique, tactics and fitness.”