Players give their all on the field. Fans go out of their way to cheer on their team both in the stadiums and on their screens wherever they are. Clocks tick and time moves at the speed of the heartbeat of every soccer lover. Millions of human beings put their soul into the game.
In this World Cup, in a game in which 22 men embody the dreams of their countries, three women will have the last word.
The Qatar World Cup is writing a different story. FIFA released the referee designations for the upcoming games and what a pleasant surprise! France's Stéphanie Frappart will become the first woman to serve as head referee in a men's World Cup finals game, specifically between Costa Rica and Germany in the final Group E matchday on Thursday. Frappart already has Champions League experience, where she made her debut in 2020. A year earlier, she became the first woman to referee a European Super Cup game.
She will be joined by two talented women, Neuza Back from Brazil and Mexico's Karen Diaz, who will be the first woman from her country to be part of a World Cup referee trio. Diaz had already participated in the game between Morocco and Croatia, but she did so as assistant to the fourth official. Diaz, who left her career as an agro-industrial engineer to become a referee, made history at the Guardianes 2020 as the first referee in a Liga MX final. At the international level, she was the first Mexican woman to participate in a Concacaf men's pre-World Cup.
As a journalist, as a woman, and as a lover of sports and soccer, I am very proud that these women represent me and all of us in Qatar. I hope that in 2026 there will be many more because it is fundamental that the important decisions in life, and now on the court, are also made by women.