Who is Stephanie Frappart? Meet the first female referee in an England men’s game at Wembley

The Football Association (FA) has announced that French referee Stephanie Frappart will officiate the upcoming England vs Australia friendly at Wembley. In doing so, she will be the first female referee to officiate a game for the England men’s team at the world-famous stadium.

Stephanie Frappart Ligue 1 referee
(Photo by Christophe Saidi/FEP/Icon Sport) – Photo by Icon sport

Who is Stephanie Frappart?

Wembley’s first female referee for a men’s game – a modern-day trailblazer

Now aged 39, Frappart started working as an amateur referee at the age of 13 and was recognised by FIFA in 2009. Frappart normally worked as a referee in French football’s third division, before becoming the first female to referee a Ligue 2 game in 2014.

Subsequently, the 39-year-old also became the first female official to referee a Ligue 1 match in 2019. After that, she has set a number of even more impressive records. In 2020, Frappart became the first woman to referee a UEFA Champions League group stage match between Juventus and Dynamo Kyiv.

However, her biggest achievement came at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. She became the first female referee to serve as a fourth official at the World Cup in the game between Mexico and Poland. Soon after that, Frappart became the first female to referee a Men’s World Cup game – in Germany’s 4-2 win over Costa Rica.

She now regularly officiates matches in French football and is commonly called up for international games.

Stephanie Frappart - Brest v Toulouse
Brest vs Toulouse on 2 April 2023. (Photo by Loic Baratoux/FEP/Icon Sport) – Photo by Icon sport

How many men’s matches has Stephanie Frappart refereed?

Stephanie Frappart has taken charge of 97 senior men’s matches since starting her career at the top level in the 2018/19 season, mostly in her native country of France.

Stephanie Frappart games refereed in 2023/24

Lens 0-1 Metz (16/09/2023)

The first Ligue 1 game Frappart oversaw this season saw Lens suffer a 1-0 loss to Metz. Despite there being 24 fouls in the game, she maintained her calm. In total, Frappart brandished only three yellow cards, and ensured the aggressiveness didn’t go over the edge.

Genk 2-2 Fiorentina (21/09/2023)

Frappart was the referee in the UEFA Europa Conference League clash between Genk and Fiorentina last month. The game finished 2-2 with 34 fouls, but Frappart again produced just three yellow cards, despite tensions raising the roof at times.

Montpellier 0-0 Rennes (24/09/2023)

Perhaps the most boring game Frappart took charge of this season was the goalless draw against Montpellier and Rennes. There were 25 fouls, for which she brandished three yellow cards.

Strasbourg 1-2 Nantes (06/10/2023)

The most recent Ligue 1 match that Frappart officiated was Strasbourg’s loss at home to Nantes. It also forced her to brandish four yellow cards, which is the most she has given in a single game so far this season.

Stephanie Frappart shows a yellow card
Stephanie Frappart shows a yellow card to Jordan Ferri. Sept 24, 2023. (Photo by Baptiste Fernandez/Icon Sport)

How does Frappart compare to other Ligue 1 referees?

Frappart has officiated three games in the 2023/24 Ligue 1 season so far. She’s blown the whistle for just over 25 fouls per game, which is much lower than experienced male counterparts like Benoit Bastien and Jerome Brisard.

Frappart has dished out 10 yellow cards, the second-lowest for the 20 referees to have officiated in Ligue 1 this season. She is also yet to award any penalties in Ligue 1, being one of the nine referees to do so.

How many red cards has Stephanie Frappart given?

Frappart has given out 13 red cards in her career. She most recently dismissed Mateusz Wieteska, who was playing for Clermont, in their win over Reims on April 30, 2023.

Will Stephanie Frappart referee any more men’s international games?

After her impressive work at the World Cup last year, Frappart will almost certainly get called up for duty at every international break.

The FA normally doesn’t invite that many foreign referees, let alone female ones, to officiate their national team matches. Yet, with the recent confirmation that GB and Ireland will host Euro 2028, there is certainly scope for change where Wembley matches are concerned.

French referees called for the FIFA Women World Cup
Frappart (centre) was amongst the French referees called up for this year’s Women’s World Cup. (Photo by Baptiste Fernandez/Icon Sport) – Photo by Icon sport

Who are the best female referees?

Frappart isn’t the only famous female referee in football right now. Along with Frappart, Rwandan referee Salima Mukasanga and Japanese official Yoshimi Yamashita were also selected to officiate at the 2022 World Cup.

Mukasanga became the first African woman to officiate at the 2022 World Cup. She also officiated matches at the Africa Cup of Nations last year. Meanwhile, Yamashita normally works for the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) matches and in Japan.

Yamashita is a pioneer at club level, as the first female referee ever to officiate a game in the AFC Champions League and Japan’s top division (J1). Most notably of all, she was also the fourth official for six World Cup matches in Qatar.

Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!