No fears for Stephanie Frappart as French referee prepares to make history in UEFA Super Cup

Referee Stephanie Frappart during a press conference before the UEFA Super Cup match between Liverpool and Chelsea. (Pool via Reuters)
Updated 14 August 2019

No fears for Stephanie Frappart as French referee prepares to make history in UEFA Super Cup

ISTANBUL: France’s Stephanie Frappart has no concerns about the scrutiny she will face in Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea when she becomes the first woman to referee a major men’s match in European competition.
“I don’t think so. We have to prove physically, technically and tactically that we are the same as the men. I’m not afraid about that. Nothing changes for me,” Frappart said on the eve of the match in Istanbul between the reigning European champions and the winners of last season’s Europa League.
Frappart, 35, has already been a trailblazer for female referees. Earlier this year she became the first woman to take charge of a match in Ligue 1 in her home country. She has since been promoted to the French top flight’s pool of referees on a permanent basis.
“Of course my life has changed because I am more popular now all over the world,” she said, insisting that refereeing a men’s match is the same for her. “I think there is not a lot of difference, because football is the same.”
Along with her assistants, compatriot Manuela Nicolosi and Ireland’s Michelle O’Neill, Frappart also took charge of the women’s World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands last month. Nicolosi and O’Neill will assist her again in Istanbul.
Roberto Rosetti, UEFA’s head of refereeing, said he came up with the idea of appointing Frappart for such a high-profile men’s fixture after watching her at the women’s World Cup.
“I hope she will inspire thousands of younger women referees all over the world,” he said, a sentiment shared by the Chelsea boss, Frank Lampard.
“It’s great news, I’m very pleased to be a part of this moment in history which is very much due,” said Lampard.
“I think we were very slow everywhere on this and now we are trying to make strides. There is still a long way to go but in terms of tomorrow (Wednesday) it is a huge moment.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp added: “I am happy that we can be part of a historic moment. It’s a very smart decision to have a woman referee a very, very important game.”


Anthony Joshua to face Andy Ruiz for world championship rematch in Saudi Arabia

Updated 20 November 2019

Anthony Joshua to face Andy Ruiz for world championship rematch in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: British boxer Anthony Joshua will face his Mexican rival, Andy Ruiz Jr, in Saudi Arabia for the World Heavyweight Boxing rematch in Diriyah Arena on December 7.

“I think my father would be happy and proud to watch this event take place in the Kingdom. When my father visited Saudi Arabia 48 years ago, he was warmly welcomed by its people. He repeated his visits when he came to perform Hajj and Umrah,” Rasheda Ali Walsh, daughter of the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali, said of the Clash on the Dunes fight.

This is Walsh’s second visit to Saudi Arabia to attend the World Boxing Championship, which she also attended last year in Jeddah, where she handed the Muhammad Ali Clay Championship Cup to boxer Callum Smith after defeating his opponent George Groves in the super middleweight bout. That championship was the first major tournament hosted by the Kingdom under the supervision of the General Sports Authority.

Commenting on her recent visit Jeddah, Walsh said: “Handing over my father’s cup is my biggest prize. It is not just a great achievement for the world champion, but an honor in itself for my father’s history and career in this sport.”

Joshua is trying to regain his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles after suffering a painful defeat in New York to Ruiz Jr in June. He will be seeking revenge in the historic “Clash on the Dunes” match in front of more than 15,000 boxing fans.

Other professional boxers will also be competing, including Russia’s Alexander Povetkin, who will face his US counterpart Michael Hunter in the qualifying match for the World Boxing Championship.

Croatian star, Filip Hrgovic, will battle for the World Boxing Council Championship’s title with American Eric Molina.

The audience will also have the chance to watch former WBA Champion Scott Koenig return to the boxing circuit after a year-long absence due to injury.

The announcement comes as part of an entertainment season which will include the Formula E Championship and the Diriyah Tennis Cup, as well as equestrian championships in which winners will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, in Japan.

Tickets are available on www.diriyahseason.sa.