England vs Andorra: All-female officiating team named for World Cup qualifier

An all-female officiating team has been named for England’s World Cup qualifier against Andorra on Saturday.

An all-female officiating team has been named for England’s World Cup qualifier against Andorra on Saturday.

Ukraine’s Kateryna Monzul will take charge of the match, helped by compatriots Maryna Striletska and Svitlana Grushko as assistant referees.

Stephanie Frappart of France, who became the first woman to officiate a World Cup qualifying match in March, will be the VAR.

Although it will be the first time a senior England men’s match has been officiated by a woman, Monzul has experience in refereeing a men’s international game before.

She was part of the all-female team officiating San Marino’s Nations League clash against Gibraltar in November 2020. Monzul also has experience at Women's World Cups and European Championships.

Frappart is another highly-experienced member of the officiating team. She became the first female referee in Ligue 1 in April 2019, before becoming the first woman to referee a UEFA Champions League match in December 2020.

The announcement comes just a week after former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg was criticised for "lazy" and "disrespectful" comments about female referees.

Ukraine’s Kateryna Monzul will referee England's World Cup qualifier against Andorra

Clattenburg made the comments on talkSPORT Breakfast during an interview with hosts Alan Brazil and Ally McCoist, and England rugby player Joe Marler.

During the discussion, Marler mentioned Sara Cox, who became the first woman to referee a Premiership Rugby match in September. He asked Clattenburg whether there could be a female referee in the Premier League.

"The problem with women is, and certainly in refereeing, certainly in football, they have a difficult path where, if they get pregnant during their refereeing career, it can stop them a long way," Clattenburg responded.

"They’ve got to make this choice – do they want to be pregnant and have children, or do they want to be referees."

When asked to clarify his comments, Clattenburg doubled down on his argument, claiming female referees had to "sacrifice" having children to progress in their careers.

Mark Clattenburg was criticised for his comments about female referees last week

Clattenburg was widely criticised for his comments, including from TalkSPORT’s female presenters and Women in Football chief executive Jane Purdon.

"In fact, many women in elite sport are in a position to resume their sporting careers quickly after giving birth. Others take more time out - by choice or by necessity. Neither of these scenarios is a 'problem'," Purdon said.

"The real problem is assumptions about female biology, and gender roles in childcare, which are lazy, outdated or plain false."

Now, an all-female officiating team will make history when England take on Andorra at Estadi Nacional on Saturday.

England have accumulated 16 points from a possible 18 during their World Cup qualifying campaign so far. They will be expected to beat underdogs Andorra, before welcoming Hungary to Wembley on Tuesday.

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