London — Stephanie Frappart stepped onto the soccer field Wednesday night and straight into the history books, becoming the first woman ever to officiate a major European men's soccer final. Before the match, Frappart said she and her fellow female refs were more than ready to take on the big boys.
"We had to prove us physically, technically and tactically that we have the same than the men. So I am not afraid about that. So I think nothing changed for me," Frappart said.
But everything has changed for men's soccer. Refereeing the women's World Cup final, which the U.S. Women's National Team won in spectacular fashion, is one thing. But over here, officiating Europe's highest-level game, soccer titans Liverpool vs. Chelsea, is a game-changer.
By way of comparison, the NFL has had only one female refs in the last 99 years.
Few people would dispute that Frappart is qualified. But are fans ready for a female referee in the men's game?
"I believe it's quite a big step because women's football is on the rise," one fan said.
The moment Stephanie Frappart stepped into that soccer stadium, she broke down all the barriers.