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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Who is Stéphanie Frappart, the referee for Bayern vs Copenhagen in the Champions League?

Frappart, 39 will be in charge of tonight’s matchday 5 clash in Munich. A pioneer in the game, she has record several firsts as the first female ref to oversee a men’s Champions League game.

Update:
Frappart, 39 will be in charge of tonight’s matchday 5 clash in Munich. A pioneer in the game, she has record several firsts as the first female ref to oversee a men’s Champions League game.
Michael ReganGetty Images

French referee Stéphanie Frappart has been designated to oversee this evening’s Champions League matchday 5 game between Bayern Munich and Copenhagen - the two teams occupying the top two places in Group A. The Bundesliga side, top of the group on 12 points, is already safely through to the Last 16 but the runners-up slot is still up for grabs with three teams still in with a chance of making the next round. The Danes sit second on four points - the same as Galatasaray, who are at home to Manchester United, on three.

So tonight’s game at Allianz Arena will be anything but a dead rubber - at least not as far as Jacob Neestrup’s Copenhagen are concerned - they need a result if they are to remain in with a chance of making the round. So it could well turn out to be a strenuous night for the match officials - but Frappart and her team have the experience to handle any situation.

Who is Stéphanie Frappart?

Born in Le Plessis-Bouchard, northern France, Frappart began refereeing youth football matches when she was a teenager, moving her way up through the various categories to Under-19 level. Since then, she has built up a wealth of big-match experience in both men’s and women’s soccer at the highest level.

Frappart, who will turn 40 next month, plies her trade domestically in Ligue 1 - the top tier of the French men’s league. She oversaw her first Ligue 1 game on 28 April 2019, becoming the first female to do so, as it ended 0-0 between Amiens and Strasbourg in Week 34 of the competition. A couple of weeks later she was back for her second game, whistling the meeting between Nice and Nantes.

The following season, she was handed 11 Ligue 1 games and in 2020/21, she officiated in 16 top-flight games. In total, she has overseen 71 matches in the men’s competition.

A FIFA-listed referee since 2009, she has continued to set a number of landmarks over the past few years. She was one of the 29 referees selected for the Women’s World Cup in 2015 and was chosen to take charge of the final four years ago, as the USWNT beat the Netherlands in Paris to be crowned world champions for the fourth time.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said at the time: “As an organisation, we place the utmost importance on the development of women’s football in all areas. I hope the skill and devotion that Stéphanie has shown throughout her career to reach this level will provide inspiration to millions of girls and women around Europe and show them there should be no barriers in order to reach one’s dream.”

Later that summer, Frappart became the first woman to referee a UEFA men’s club final, when she was appointed to oversee Liverpool’s 2019 European Super Cup victory over Chelsea in Istanbul.

She then established herself as the first female to referee a men’s Champions League game - the matchday 6 game between Juventus and Dinamo Kyiv in Turin was yet another milestone in her career. She was back last season, in charge of Real Madrid’s home meeting with Celtic - once again on matchday 6.

In May 2022, Frappart was place in charge of the men’s Coupe de France final between Nice and Nantes and Nice - her second final. She made further history when she was included among the referees for the men’s World Cup last year. One of three female referees to go to Qatar 2022, Frappart refereed one game at the tournament: Germany’s 4-2 group-stage victory over Costa Rica.

Frappart books Chelsea's César Azpilicueta during the 2019 Super Cup.
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Frappart books Chelsea's César Azpilicueta during the 2019 Super Cup.JOHN SIBLEYAction Images via Reuters

Women’s World Cup veteran

Last summer, Frappart was involved in her third Women’s World Cup. She was handed Switzerland and Norway’s 0-0 Group A draw on 25 July, before taking on a major assignment six days later, when she ran the rule over the crunch, big-name match-up between co-hosts Australia and Olympic champions Canada in Group B. The Matildas’ 4-0 won in Melbourne, taking them through to the knockout stages at the Canadians’ expense.

In the Round of 16, she was in the middle for Sweden’s dramatic shootout win that sent defending champions, the USWNT packing. Her participation ended in the quarter finals with Spain’s win against the Netherlands in Wellington.

Barcelona and Real Madrid - a record crowd of 91,553 watched the match from the stands.
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Barcelona and Real Madrid - a record crowd of 91,553 watched the match from the stands.ALBERT GEAREUTERS

Record-breaking Clásico clash

Among the other high-profile women’s games on Frappart’s resumé is a Women’s Champions League quarter-final between Spanish arch rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid, in March 2022. Played at Barça’s Camp Nou, the game attracted a crowd of 91,553 - at the time a world record for a women’s soccer match.

Who are Frappart’s assistants for Bayern vs Copenhagen?

In Munich tonight, Frappart will lead an all-French team out on the pitch including assistant referees Mikael Berchebru and Steven Torregrossa, with Bastien Dechepy as the fourth official.

The video assistant referee (VAR) will be Spain’s Carlos del Cerro Grande, accompanied by assistant VAR Alejandro Hernández - also from the Spanish Federation.

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