UEFA Super Cup set to be a record-breaking all English affair

The 44th Edition of the UEFA Super Cup will be an all English affair between Liverpool and Chelsea. French Referee Stephanie Frappart breaks boundaries as the first woman to referee in a major men’s European game. 

Originally published on ForeverSports

UEFA have announced that Stephanie Frappart will take charge of the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul this evening. The French referee is set to be the first female referee to officiate in a major men’s European game.

The season opener for European competitions will see the Reds from Merseyside, taking on the Blues of London at the Vodafone Park Stadium in Istanbul this evening. This prompts a second record that will be broken on the night as it will be the first UEFA Super Cup game between two English top flight clubs, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Over a month ago Frappart presided over the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in Lyon between the USA and the Netherlands. The USA were crowned champions for the fourth time after beating the Netherlands 2-0. Frappart will be joined by Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O’Neil, the exact team that officiated the Women’s World Cup. Her fourth official, Cuneyt Cakir, will feel at home in his home city of Istanbul.

The appointment of Frappart as the referee signifies a positive change for the position of women referees in a previously male dominated arena. A female referee is not as a rare sight as many may think it might be, Bibiana Steinhaus has been refereeing in the men’s top tier games in Germany since 2017.

Much like Frappart, Steinhaus also refereed the Women’s World Cup final in 2011 between the USA and Japan. No guesses to who won that game, even with tea sipping celebrations perhaps. These women are trailblazers in the fight for equality in the refereeing arena. Hopefully this appointment will push the issue and force leagues to utilize more female referees throughout Europe’s top five leagues.

Just as we hope millions of little girls around the world were inspired by the likes of Megan Rapinoe, Marta or Samantha Kerr at this years Women’s World Cup to become footballing legends. Hopefully seeing Frappart or Nicolosi on the field tonight will inspire a new generation of women referees.

Both teams have spoken on the announcement with Liverpool defender, Virgil Van Dijk saying in his press conference that the gender of the referee was inconsequential as long as the job gets done. Frank Lampard and Jurgen Klopp both hailed the decision as a step in the right direction from UEFA.

The Liverpool fans will feel a bit of luck on their side after their European success in the Turkish country. The Reds secured their fifth European title in 2005 after scoring three goals in six minutes and then going on to dismantle AC Milan on penalties.

On the other hand, Chelsea will want to set their season straight after a dismal showing on Sunday afternoon which saw the Blues smashed 4-0 at Old Trafford. Which was definitely not how Frank Lampard would have dreamed his first game at the helm to go. However all may be forgiven between manager and fans if the boss can bring the Super Cup back home tonight.

Pride and a trophy are on the cards in Istanbul tonight under the watchful eye of Stephanie Frappart, will Super Frank catch a break or will Liverpool collect another European trophy?

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