Stephanie Frappart: Whistling on the Big Stage

Jun 7, 2020

Life Stories

Stephanie Frappart


Stephanie Frappart was born in 1983. She started refereeing at a young age; by the age of 26, she was on the FIFA International Referees List and has been there ever since. She controlled men’s matches from 2011, in France’s Championnat National. In 2014 Stephanie was promoted to Ligue 2, the second-highest level in France. In 2015, she was a referee at the Women’s World Cup in Canada.


In 2019 Stephanie Frappart reached the top as a referee. In April, she was the first woman to take a men’s Ligue 1 match (Amiens – Racing Strasbourg); in July she refereed the Women’s World Cup final in Paris between the Netherlands and the United States. In August, she was chosen to referee the UEFA Super Cup final in Istanbul, between Liverpool and Chelsea. In the glare of worldwide TV coverage, Stephanie and her assistants controlled a high-intensity match with complete success.


After controlling the 2019 Super Cup final, Stephanie Rappart refereed another key men’s match in November 2019, the first All-Ireland Champions Cup between Dundalk of the League of Ireland and Linfield, champions of Northern Ireland. The question that remains is: What Happens Next? Will Stephanie and other referees, such as Bibiana Steinhaus lead the way to full equality?

Thinking points

In the 21st century, women’s football has gained public attention and acceptance. The 2019 World Cup got crowds and huge media coverage.

Educators could look at the life story of Stephanie Frappart and work with young people to consider these questions:

  1. Was this a historic landmark, proving that top-level football had achieved true equality? Or was it merely a showy public-relations gesture that will not lead to lasting change?
  2. Will female referees ever become as “normal” as male referees, accepted throughout the game as top-class professionals with full respect and authority?

Find out more

Find out more about Stephanie Frappart here. Also, read this Guardian article about her refereeing the match between Liverpool and Chelsea.


Stephanie Frappart, in charge of Germany versus Iceland, 2017 (Photo: Sven Mandel, Wikimedia Commons)

Stephanie Frappart, in charge of Germany versus Iceland, 2017 (Photo: Sven Mandel, Wikimedia Commons).

Life Story

Stephanie Frappart was chosen to referee the UEFA Super Cup final in Istanbul, between Liverpool and Chelsea. Her story is one of equality, diversity and breaking the mould.


Article Tags:   diversity  |   gender history  |   pioneers

LIFE STORIES  To discover now

Do you wanna know more?



Browse our collection of stories about football history and inclusion. With the history of football being made up of millions of stories, of individuals and communities, of movements and processes, we offer stories that can inspire our cultural conversations today.


Get to know untold stories where individuals are making history with football. When faced with insurmountable challenges, individuals past and present can use football as a cultural force to foster positive change in society. We honour these individuals and tell their ‘untold’ stories in short videos.

Educational Resources

Explore our innovative educational resources that use football’s history, heritage and legacy to engage young people. The resources include ready-made lesson plans and historical source collections for school history education as well as toolkit with activities for non-formal settings.

Trending Stories



In the wake of the 2015 migration peak, activists and volunteers across Europe have been involved in supporting refugees, sometimes with the simple act of offering space and friendship to participate in football through grassroots clubs to help newcomers integrate.

LATEST POST  You may also be interested in

Formation for Human Rights

Formation for Human Rights

A class of high school history students in Oslo was asked to create an ideal starting XI line-up based on Human Rights. Find out why and how it went.

Share This