For the first time ever the England men’s international team will be refereed by Kateryna Monzul, aka. a female woman. Monzul, aged 40, will not be the only woman on the pitch tomorrow by as she is going to be assisted by fellow Ukrainians Maryna Striletska and Svitlana Grushko. Whilst Stephanie Frappart, France, has been named as the VAR.
England manager, Gareth Southgate, has spoken to BBC Sports on the matter, stating tomorrow’s match will be a “very important moment for gender equality” and “for us […] the quality of the official is important, not the gender.” To reiterate, this is a huge moment and for Southgate to be backing these Officials is phenomenal!
"Very important moment for gender equality."Gareth southgate
Hopefully, these women will not be ridiculed by the football community as this is a time where equality and diversity are at the upmost importance to move forward as a society. Though, it would not surprise me if the officials received backlash after tomorrow’s match.
One instance of a woman official receiving backlash is when Bibiana Steinhaus officiated in the Bundesliga. Being the first female referee in any of Europe’s top leagues was an astonishing moment. She did herself, and the female sporting community, proud; however, she has put up with loads of aggravation on and off the pitch.
Steinhaus sent Fortuna Dusseldorf’s midfielder Kerem Demirbay off in 2015. After his sending off Demirbay said “women have no place in men’s football”. To this day, this is my favourite story because Demirbay received a beautiful five-match ban.
Women deserve to have a chance as much as men. If Phil Neville, the former England women’s manager, can have a place in women’s football, why can’t women have a place in men’s football?
At Newcastle University, we are all behind these incredible women and hope they have the time of their lives. They are role models for the younger generations to look up to. And we all hope that they do not receive abuse like those before them.