Top French referee Stephanie Frappart is one of the 15 female match officials, who will officiate games at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 in August. She is looking forward to refereeing in her home country and to showing the world how excited France is to celebrate women’s football at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this year, and of course next year, at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.
FIFA.com: Congratulations on your selection for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018. What does it mean for you as a French woman to officiate at FIFA World Cup matches in your home country?
Stephanie Frappart: I am very proud, of course. I am really looking forward to this competition. It is a big honour to represent France in France. It is a highlight for me. It is great recognition and a token of appreciation for all of the work I have done so far, for the experience I gained over the past years. I am very pleased and I want to thank everyone, who has made this possible.
France is organising two important women’s competitions. Next year, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be played in France. The U-20 competition in August is a kind of sample for what’s coming up next year, when FIFA’s flagship tournament in women’s football will be played. How are the preparations going so far? The French Football Federation has prepared this tournament very well. It will be a big test for everyone before the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019. Everyone is focused and ready. The whole region of Brittany is excited to welcome all of the teams and fans. The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will be a great gauge for next year’s competition.
Considering that the level of the U-20 women is very good, are there opportunities for the match officials to make improvements in their own World Cup preparations?
Absolutely. It is a great opportunity for us and it is a great opportunity for the players. We both have an important competition, after which all of us can be recommended for the World Cup, if we have good performances. So, there is a lot at stake for all of us.
You are known for leaving nothing to chance and planning everything down to the last detail. What are your preparations like over the next few days, weeks and months?
It is actually an ongoing process. The World Cup preparations have not just started. We actually started planning and preparing for France 2019 immediately after the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 in Canada. It is more a next, important step towards the next big highlight. It will be an intense, but exciting time. We are challenged and encouraged.
It is an important stopover in our World Cup preparations. We still have a lot of work to do and we must keep up the pace. The exchanges with our instructors will be very valuable and also officiating games at a high level is, of course, very important for us.
What exactly can we look forward to in your country this year* and next year?
*This summer, it’s the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and next year, it’s the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the best women’s football tournament anywhere! I am sure that both competitions will be a big success for the development of women’s football.
This FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 is coming at just the right time for the women’s game in France. Our FA’s development programme is paying off. More and more people are watching women’s football matches on TV, and the French national women’s team play in front of packed stadia. There’s a genuine passion for the game, and it’s growing all the time.