Stephanie Frappart hands the ball to a player
Stephanie Frappart became the first woman to referee a men’s Champions League game on 2 December

At the beginning of December, Stephanie Frappart made football history.

The Frenchwoman’s name was all over the world’s media, inspiring young girls everywhere, but Frappart was oblivious. In her own words, she lives in a bubble.

“I have no social media,” Frappart told BBC Sport.

“I never read newspapers about me. I make my bubble. I know that in football everybody speaks about referees and performance.

“I still ignore everything. I prefer it like this.”

It is not the first time Frappart has etched her name in football’s history books.

She was the first woman to take charge of a men’s match in a major Uefa competition when Liverpool and Chelsea met in the 2019 Super Cup.

That year, the 37-year-old also refereed the Women’s World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands, and has refereed French Ligue 1 games since 2019.

Stephanie Frappart speaks to American and Dutch players during the 2019 Women's World Cup final
The 2019 Women’s World Cup final was won by the United States

Frappart, who started playing football aged 10, oversaw her first Europa League game in October when Leicester City hosted Zorya Luhansk and says refereeing at the men’s World Cup in 2022 would be a “bonus”.

Her presence in such high-profile games is bound to inspire young girls watching to follow in her footsteps and Frappart says this would be “a great pleasure”.

“I know that I am a role model,” Frappart added.

“Young women are watching TV, so I know that if I am here on the field they can see that it’s possible. This is the first thing that will help some young girls to start refereeing.

“I know that I have a role in that, but I am not pushing women too much because they will continue by themselves and they will decide if they want to be a referee or not.”

‘VAR is good for football’

Like all officials, Frappart has had to adapt to the arrival of the video assistant referee (VAR).

The technology has been a source of much debate since its introduction, with fans and players alike complaining about controversial decisions made after a VAR intervention.

But Frappart describes it as “a very good help”, adding: “We continue to referee as before. We make the decision on the field of play and after that it is good to have help in case we make big mistakes.

“I think it’s good for football.”

Emci-Hub Technologies Ltd

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