History will be made during England’s World Cup qualifying clash with Andorra on Saturday, with an all-female team of officials taking charge of a Three Lions fixture for the first time.
Ukrainian referee Kateryna Monzul will be the referee for the match, with compatriots Maryna Striletska and Svitlana Grushko being named as her assistants.
Stephanie Frappart of France will be the video assistant referee, with a notable entry into the record books set to be made when Gareth Southgate’s side take to the field at Estadi Nacional d’Andorra.
Who is Kateryna Monzul?
Monzul, 40, is an internationally-renowned referee.
She has been overseeing international matches for over 16 years, having refereed in Women’s European Championship and World Cup matches.
She became the first female referee in the top-flight of men’s football in Ukraine when she started working in the Premier League in 2016. In January 2020, she won the award for the UPL’s best referee.
Last year, Monzul was part of the first all-female team to take charge of a men’s international match as she refereed the UEFA Nations League clash between San Marino and Gibraltar.
She was also the second woman to oversee a men’s World Cup qualifier when she took charge of the clash between Austria and Faroe Islands in March this year.
Frappart was the first to do so, having officiated the match between Netherlands and Latvia the day before. The French referee has already officiated in men’s European Championship, Champions League and Ligue 1 matches.
Who else will be part of the officiating team?
Denys Shurman will take on the role as fourth official, while Viktor Matyash will assist Frappart with VAR for the World Cup qualifying fixture.
Who are the women to have refereed men’s matches?
Female referees have become more common in the men’s game over the last two decades.
Monzul and Frappart are two who are established in the top-flights of their respective countries and were praised by legendary former referee Pierluigi Collina earlier this year.
“Although they already had some matches in important men’s competitions under their belts, officiating a FIFA World Cup qualifier for the first time is special and is something to be very proud of,” the chairman of the FIFA referees committee and UEFA referees committee member said.
“They have worked very hard in recent years and these appointments are recognition for the good job that they have done.”
In England, meanwhile, Rebecca Welch is the highest-ranking female referee in the country and the first woman to referee a men’s game in the English Football League. She has took charge of five League Two matches in 2021.
There have also been female assistant referees in the Premier League, with Sian Massey-Ellis having regularly been involved in matches in the highest level of the men’s domestic game.