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Irish assistant ref Michelle O’Neill makes history in Uefa Super Cup alongside ref Stephanie Frappart in Liverpool vs Chelsea clash – The Sun

IRISH referee Michelle O’Neill makes history as part of the first all-woman team to take charge of a men’s final when Chelsea face Liverpool.

O’Neill, from Wexford, who will run the line while the line for France’s Stephanie Frappart, hopes she will be an inspiration for youngsters.


Italy’s Manuela Nicolosi will be the other assistant although a male, Turkey’s Cuneyt Cakir, will be the fourth official here in Turkey for the Uefa Super Cup.

O’Neill said: “It’s not our first time on the big stage as we were all at the Women’s World Cup final.

“It’s pretty nice that you have young girls, young kids being inspired. We are leading the way and opening the doors of the pathway to these kids coming up – that’s pretty special.

“For sure we’re more popular so people recognise us on the street. It’s okay. It’s normal for us.”

Frappart, 35, took charge of her first Ligue 1 game in April when Amiens played Strasbourg.

She said: “I think there is not a lot difference, because football is the same. Only teams play differently but refereeing is the same – football is the same. I would do the same I do in women’s football.”

Fourth official Cakir said: “For us there is no difference between a man and woman referee, we’re all referees, when we go to field of play they call us a referee, not woman referee or man referee.

“Two weeks ago in Zagreb, we did a training camp. We did the same preparation as the men, the same fitness test, the same laws of the game test, the same training sessions, there is no difference. When we go to the field, there is no gender.

“I worked with Stephanie and her team three years ago at the Olympics, during the tournament from the beginning to the end. They are really brave, they have courage and they don’t hesitate to give unpopular decisions as you will see.”

Uefa refs boss Roberto Rosetti said: “They are strong, technically, physically. Just a few days ago Stephanie passed the men’s fitness test with the elite referees. She ran a lot and mentally she is strong.

"This is the main reason. Then I hope she will inspire thousands and thousands of young female referees around the world. Uefa will be very happy about that.”

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