Germany and Costa Rica go head-to-head in a crucial Group E tie that could see either team qualify for the World Cup knockout stages. But who will referee the game?
After Costa Rica lost 7-0 to Spain in their opening game all hopes of the Central American side reaching the last 16 in Qatar dissipated.
However, an expected win against Japan has seen them within touching distance of qualifying for the next round. A victory over Germany would send them through and emulate their 2014 heroics when they knocked out England and Italy.
Meanwhile, four-time winner Germany were eliminated in the group stage as holders in 2018. It was their earliest World Cup exit in 80 years.
While Costa Rica could still qualify with a draw, Germany must win having lost 2-1 to Japan in their opener and drawn 1-1 with Spain.
Both sides can make football history tonight - Costa Rica for all the right reasons; Germany for the wrong ones. However, history will also be made among the officials.
Stephanie Frappart will become the first woman to referee a men’s World Cup match when she takes charge of tonight's clash.
The Group E match will be led by an all-female on-field team for the first time, with Brazil's Neuza Back and Mexican Karen Diaz Medina chosen as her assistants.
Earlier in the tournament, Frappart became the first female official for a men’s World Cup match, when she was the fourth official for Mexico and Poland’s goalless draw.
The 38-year-old has already made history in her officiating career, having become the first female referee to take charge of a men’s World Cup qualifier in 2021, when the Netherlands beat Latvia 2-0.
In December 2020 she also became the first female referee to take charge of a men’s Champions League game, when Juventus dismantled Dynamo Kyiv 3-0 in Turin.
In 2019 Frappart also took charge of the all-English Super Cup match between Liverpool and Chelsea, and the women’s World Cup final between the US and the Netherlands.
Two other women, Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan, are also on the FIFA list to referee games at the Qatar World Cup.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock
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