The Supercup of Europe, which sees the winner of the Champions League against the Europa League, will pit Liverpool against Chelsea on Wednesday (August 14th). In this shock 100% English, the eyes will be on the stars Mohamed Salah for the Reds or Olivier Giroud for the Blues, but also on the referee: Stephanie Frappart. For the first time, a major men's football match will be led by a woman.
"We have to prove physically, technically and tactically that we are the same as men, I'm not afraid of that, nothing changes for me," said the Frenchwoman on the eve of this meeting which will take place in Istanbul.
OFFICIAL Stephanie Frappart 🇫🇷 at the whistle for the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on August 14. # SuperCoupe #LFCCFC https://t.co/kodLLB9XBJUEFA 🇫🇷 (@UEFAcom_en) August 2, 2019
"The decisions and the rules are the same"
At 35, Stéphanie Frappart already has a long career behind her. In recent years, she has become accustomed to shattering all barriers. Since her debut in Ligue 2, in 2014, she has managed to find a place, in scout, in the world of football. Last April, after five seasons in the second division, she became the first woman to lead a Ligue 1 game, a draw between Amiens and Strasbourg (0-0) then Nice-Nantes (1-1) in May.
On July 7th, in front of millions of viewers, Stephanie Frappart also officiated during the final of the Women's World Championship in Lyon between the United States and the Netherlands. "It has been several years since Stéphanie Frappart proves that she is one of the best women referees not only on the European scene but also on a global scale," said Roberto Rosetti, head of the Arbitration team. UEFA.
"She is capable of leading very high level matches, as she proved in the Women's World Cup final this year, and I hope that this match in Istanbul will bring her even more experience. 'she is at the top of her refereeing career,' he added when he was announced for the European Supercup.
Before starting the preparation of her first season in Ligue 1, Stephanie Frappart returns on the 4 World Cup matches she directed. pic.twitter.com/bVPA3UQzTYFFF (@FFF) July 18, 2019
In the middle of the match, the players sometimes call it "Referee". For Stéphanie Frappart, it shows that she blends into the background. For her, man or woman behind the whistle, there is no difference. "The decisions and the rules are the same, I do the same physical tests as the boys, the players do not go faster on the field [when they are refereed by a woman] so the requirements are not less", she explained in an interview with the Parisian.
"There is a little more respect for a woman"
The referee, originally from Paris suburbs, has already experienced machismo. But most of the time, he came from the stands. On the lawn, she was protected from verbal abuse, unlike her parents who have often endured in her place, as she told the team: "When we are on the ground, we are in his bubble We do not hear, but it's not always easy to be on the edge of the field and to hear words about your own child. "
More recently, in 2015, she had to face the sexist slippage of Valenciennes coach David Le Frapper. While he thought his team should have received a penalty against Laval, he said after the draw (0-0): "Regarding the penalty, he was there but the referee did not did not see, she was skating maybe, when you are a woman and you come to referee a men's sport, it's complicated ". The technician then apologized to Stephanie Frappart who had not wished to react to these remarks.
The referee knows how to win on and off the pitch. She even thinks that her status may be an advantage: "I think there is a little more respect for a woman.In the virulence of words, there may be a barrier that makes us less affected by a woman or someone who speaks to her in a more correct way. "
His qualities are also welcomed by the players. "She has a small voice but she has charisma, personality, she uses the right words, she explains, she is a diplomat and we can talk to her, she does not try to put herself forward. is really the game ", considers the middle of Orléans Pierre Bouby, who had presented it as" the best referee in Ligue 2 ".
Wednesday, August 14, Stephanie Frappart will not be alone in the field. Clément Turpin, who will be in charge of the video assistance to arbitration (VAR), Frappart will be assisted by two other women, his compatriot Manuela Nicolosi and the Irish Michelle O'Neill. The fourth official referee will be a man, the Turkish Cuneyt Cakir. The latter did not fail to greet his female colleagues before the clash between Liverpool and Chelsea: "They are brave, they do not hesitate to make unpopular decisions, you will see tomorrow," he promised.