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14.08.2019 Sports News

Frappart ready to make history in Super Cup showdown

By Damian Shepherd - RFI
FRANCK FIFE / AFP
AUG 14, 2019 SPORTS NEWS

Stephanie Frappart will become the first female to referee a major men's European match tonight as Liverpool face Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.

Having already taken charge of the Women's World Cup final in June and Ligue 1 matches since April, the Frenchwoman has plenty of experience going into Wednesday's encounter in Istanbul.

Frappart will be joined by two female assistants, compatriot Manuela Nicolosi and Ireland's Michelle O'Neill.

She insists that refereeing a men's game involves no more pressure than a women's fixture.

"I think there is not a lot of difference, because football is the same," Frappart said.

“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."

Praise from team bosses
The team managers were full of praise for Frappart's appointment, with Chelsea boss Frank Lampard describing it as a moment of history.

"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 Wednesday it is a huge moment."

Liverpool manager 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."

Roberto Rosetti, UEFA's head of refereeing, said he came up with the idea of appointing Frappart for the game after watching her performances at the Women's World Cup.

"I hope she will inspire thousands of younger women referees all over the world,” Rossetti said.

The annual Super Cup is competed between the winners of last season's UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

Liverpool will be hoping to continue their momentum after a comfortable 4-1 victory over Norwich in their opening game of the Premier League campaign.

In contrast, Chelsea have lost star man Eden Hazard and began their season with a 4-nil humbling at the hands of Manchester United on Sunday.

Klopp has warned his team, however, to be wary of a new-look Chelsea, who have been putting their faith in young players due to a transfer ban.

"If people really think that Chelsea is not a real challenge then I can't help these people," Klopp said.

"They are really strong and young and fresh, and everything is exciting in the moment because Frank is there, the club legend.”

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