French soccer referee Stéphanie Frappart will make history Thursday when she leads the first all-female refereeing trio in a men’s World Cup match—the latest in a series of records and tournament firsts happening in Qatar.
Frappart will be joined by assistants Neuza Back from Brazil and Karen Diaz from Mexico to officiate the match between Costa Rica and Germany on Thursday, FIFA announced this week.
During a match against Qatar last week, England’s 19-year-old Jude Bellingham became the first player born in the 21st century to score a goal in a World Cup match.
The Qatar tournament also features the first set of full siblings to compete for different teams, with Iñaki Williams representing Ghana and his younger brother, Nico Williams, making his World Cup debut for Spain. (The Williams brothers were born in Spain to a Ghanaian father and Liberian mother, and Iñaki previously played for Spain.)
Canadian coach John Herdman is the first manager in World Cup history to have led both a men’s and a women’s team at the tournaments, having previously coached the New Zealand women’s team in the 2007 and 2011 women’s World Cups.
When Qatar lost to Ecuador last week, it was the first time in World Cup history that a host team lost their opening match.
The Qatar World Cup is the first ever held in the Middle East, and the most expensive in the tournament’s history, with Qatar spending an estimated $220 billion over the past decade to prepare, including constructing seven new stadiums in which to hold matches. Because of the hot Qatari climate, the tournament is also the first to be held in winter instead of the usual summer schedule, which has disrupted club lineups in other countries. FIFA’s decision to hold the World Cup in Qatar has drawn controversy due to the country’s human rights record, and after scores of migrant workers died while working on World Cup-related construction projects. Qatar and FIFA officials have also been accused of bribery and corruption in voting to hold the tournament in the country.
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By Carlie Porterfield, Forbes Staff