For the first time ever, there will be female referees at a World Cup final for men after Fifa unveiled the list for the quarterly showpiece, which Qatar will host later this year.
France’s Stephanie Frappart, Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita are among the 36 match referees.
Brazil’s Neuza Back, Mexico’s Karen Diaz Medina and American Kathryn Nesbitt have been included in the 69 assistant referees.
“We are very pleased that … we have been able to convene female match leaders for the first time in the history of a Fifa World Cup,” said the chairman of Fifa’s referee committee, Pierluigi Collina.
“This concludes a long process that began several years ago with the deployment of female referees at Fifa men’s junior and senior tournaments.
“In that way, we clearly emphasize that it is quality that counts for us and not gender. I hope that the selection of elite women’s match leaders for important men’s competitions in the future will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational.”
All match leaders for the final will participate in the early summer in seminars in Asuncion, Madrid and Doha.
“We can not eliminate all errors, but we will do everything we can to reduce them,” said Massimo Busacca, Fifa’s referee director.