Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez said Wednesday the appointment of Stephanie Frappart to referee his team’s crucial clash with Germany was a major milestone in a “sexist sport”.
Frappart, 38, will become the first woman to take charge of a men’s World Cup game on Thursday, working with two women assistant referees.
Suarez said her appointment “speaks volumes of this woman and her commitment... especially in this sport, which is a sexist sport”.
“It is difficult to reach the level she has reached. It is another positive step for football. It shows that football is for everyone.”
Costa Rica midfielder Celso Borges said Frappart’s selection was “a huge step for women globally”.
“She is there because she has all the capabilities to perform on a great stage,” he said.
Germany coach Hansi Flick said she had earned her position on the “basis of her performances” while defender Lukas Klostermann said the appointment “was not an issue” in the German camp.
“We don’t really look out for who is refereeing us (to see) whether they are a man or a woman,” he said. “We think it’s normal and we hope it stays that way.”
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