UEFA’s head of refereeing defends decision to put Stephanie Frappart in charge of Super Cup final
- UEFA has received criticism for putting Stephanie Frappart in charge in Istanbul
- Frappart is highly experienced and refereed the Women’s World Cup final
- There have been no questions from her male colleagues over her appointment
Roberto Rossetti, UEFA’s head of refereeing, has robustly defended the decision to appoint Stephanie Frappart to officiate the European Super Cup final and insisted there is no risk.
Frappart is the top official in the women’s game and took charge of the World Cup final in July. She broke new ground when refereeing a Ligue 1 match in France in April but the Frenchwoman’s ability to handle a men’s game of such prestige has attracted scrutiny.
It is not a debate about gender. Frappert passed the stringent physical examination UEFA implement for all male officials and there are no questions about whether she has the athletic capabilities to keep up with the pace of the clash between Liverpool and Chelsea.
UEFA have defended their decision to put Stephanie Frappart in charge of the Super Cup final
The question comes about whether she has enough experience to be awarded this responsibility but Rossetti, who succeeded Pierliugi Collina, made it clear that are no concerns whatsoever about Frappert or her assistants, compatriot Manuela Nicolosi and Ireland’s Michelle O’Neill and
‘She’s good – she’s really good,’ said Rossetti. ‘She did a great season last season. She did very well, she did a great World Cup, she was a referee of the final, she is prepared, technically she is good, she understands football, refereeing, everything.
‘Physically she ran like a male referee. Mentally she is very strong; she’s ready for this match. Then, you know, I think it’s not a matter of gender. Everybody can make mistakes. I’m confident she’ll do well. We had the idea with at the UEFA referee committee during the World Cup. They are ready.’
Frappart refereed the Women’s World Cup final in France earlier in the summer
Frappart and her assistants briefly faced the media here – UEFA would only allow four questions before she went to train inside the stadium – but she is not flustered about the attention that has come her away.
‘My life changed because I’m more popular now in all the world,’ said Frappart. ‘I was appointed [as a referee] in Ligue 1 in France, so I know the feeling, the strategy and I know my emotions. I know how to keep [them in check] and how I train.
‘This is not the first appointment for me [in men’s football], I know really the meaning of that. I think there is not a lot difference, because football is the same. Only teams play differently, refereeing is the same; football is the same. Nothing changes in me. I am not afraid.’
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is delighted to see Frappart refereeing the match tonight.
Klopp said: Finally! I have not had a lot of experience with female referees. She is settled. I am really happy we can be a part of that historical moment.
‘That is a very smart decision to bring a female referee into a very big, important game. I am really sure we all try to not make it more difficult. I will show my best face if possible. Otherwise my mum would be angry! It’s the first one but I hope it’s not the last. ‘