Yamashita ready to become Japan’s first female World Cup referee

by | Sep 2, 2022 | World

Yoshimi Yamashita alongside France’s Stephanie Frappart and Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga will become the first women to referee at a men’s FIFA World Cup.Japanese Yoshimi Yamashita, one of a trio set to make history in Qatar as the first female referees to officiate at a men’s FIFA World Cup, feels both pressure and excitement at the prospect of being a pioneer.
“We have to consistently see female referees [on the pitch] to normalise it. I feel pressure to earn everyone’s trust and make that happen,” the 36-year-old told reporters in Tokyo.
She also understands the benefits of her time in the spotlight, saying she feels her very presence in a traditionally male-dominated event shows new possibilities are opening up for women.
“There are barely any female referees in the Middle East, and it would be wonderful to see even just one more female referee after the World Cup,” she said.
Yamashita was named in May alongside France’s Stephanie Frappart and Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga as officials for Qatar later this year – the first women to referee at a men’s World Cup.
According to FIFA, the women will be joined by Neuza Back from Brazil, Karen Diaz Medina from Mexico, and Kathryn Nesbitt from the United States, all named assistant referees among 69 others for the tournament.
“The goal is to get to the point where it’s not a big deal that a woman is refereeing a men’s match, but at this stage I’m happy this is making a splash,” Yama …

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