The FIFA has selected three female match officials to take charge of the FIFA World Cup 2022 games. It is for the first time in the long and glorious history of the tournament that females are included as match officials.
Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan, Stephanie Frappart of France, and Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda are the three female match officials of a group of 36 elite referees.
Salima Mukansanga, Stephanie Frappart and Yoshimi Yamashita will become the first female referees to officiate at a men's World Cup at Qatar 2022 🙌 pic.twitter.com/aMz7iLNFsj
— GOAL (@goal) May 19, 2022
The 36 referees will be in charge of the 64 total games and be the persons under huge pressure in the middle of the park. Moreover, three more female assistant referees have been included in a pool of 69.
The Japanese official Yoshimi Yamashita talks about her honor to break the gender barrier in the biggest football tournament on the planet. She prepares to write history by taking charge of the Men’s World Cup 2022.
Yoshimi Yamashita admits that the “pressure is huge.” The Japanese previously officiated in the J League and Tokyo Olympic Games. She expresses that she is happy taking this responsibility.
“Of course, I think the pressure is huge and I think I have a lot of responsibility. But I am really happy to take this duty and pressure, so I try to take it positively and I try to be happy.”
She will aim to bring the attractiveness to soccer by offering fair games. She adds, “One of the big goals as a referee is to bring out the attractiveness of soccer. So if I need to communicate with the players, I will do that. If I need to show a card, I will show a card. Rather than control, I’m thinking about what to do towards the big goal of bringing out the appeal of soccer.”
Moreover, the Tokyo native speaks about the intense speed of a World Cup match. She admits that the referee in charge of a game must be keeping up to the speed of the game. They need to act quickly in the middle of the waves of people. It takes some getting used to.
Yoshimi Yamashita speaks about her challenges in the middle of the park. “It’s the speed, but not just the players’ speed. Not the ball speed. It’s just the game speed. It means for me I have to make quicker decisions – more speed.”