Stephanie Frappart insists she is ‘not afraid’ as she prepares to become the first woman to referee a major men’s final in tonight’s UEFA Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea.
It’s the first time an all-female team of officials will take charge of such a match, with Frappart to oversee the meeting of last season’s Champions League winners Liverpool and Chelsea, who lifted the Europa League trophy.
Frappart will be supported by assistant referees Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O'Neill, the same team of officials who recently took charge of the Women’s World Cup final.
"Of course, we feel ready because we train a lot, all the time,” the 35-year-old referee said ahead of the match in Istanbul.
“So we are not afraid about this game because we always ready for all the games.
"We have to prove that physically, tactically and technically we are the same as the men. So I'm not afraid about that, so I think nothing changes for me."
Frappart has refereed in France’s Ligue 1, taking charge of Amiens’ meeting with Strasbourg in April.
She has been refereeing in men’s football for some time, working in France’s second division since 2015.
And the experienced Frappart believes her experience in domestic football will suit her well for the Super Cup match.
She added: "Of course, my life changed because I am more popular now across the world. I was also appointed [as a referee] in Ligue 1 in France, so I know the feeling. I know the strategy, and I also know also my emotions.
“So I know how to keep it, and I know also how I train for that. This is not the first appointment for me, so I know the meaning of that.
"I don't think there are a lot of differences because football is the same; only teams play differently. But as a man or as a woman we cannot referee the same game between women and men.
“So for me it's the same because refereeing is the same, football is the same with the same rules. So I will do the same [as I do] in the women leagues.”
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