Stéphanie Frappart first female referee in Ligue 1

Stéphanie Frappart is the first female referee in Ligue 1. The 2019 World Cup referee from France will officiate the game between Amien SC against RC Strasbourg on the 28th of April.

The French Football Federation (FFF) wants her to prepare the best way possible for the World Cup. Because the video referee will be present at the World Cup, Stéphanie Frappart has a extra benefit now. The VAR this game is top referee Clement Turpin.

After Bibiana Steinhaus in Germany, Frappart is the second referee who will officiate in a European top men’s League.

Stéphanie Frappart makes “huge step”

When she was appointed at the European u19 Women’s final in 2012 Frappart says the step to Ligue 1 would be difficult. It will “very difficult, another huge step up”. Uefa describes her career then as Stéphanie will get the chances see gets very quickly. “Indeed, and a glance at her career to date confirms that when a chance arises she tends to take it, as she has swiftly advanced both domestically and in the international game.

Stéphanie Frappart as referee

Stéphanie Frappart as referee

The refereeing team

  • Referee: Stéphanie Frappart
  • Assistant Referee 1 : Nicolas Danos
  • Assistant Referee 2 : Aurélien Drouet
  • 4th official : Jérémie Pignard
  • VAR: Clément Turpin
  • AVAR: Benjamin Lepaysant

Refereeing abroad: the benefits and lessons

The benefits of refereeing abroad. The experiences and lessons from 2019 Ibercup Referees in Portugal, where I was an observer. I personally loved the fact that every referee was eager to learn and develop themselves as a referee. And the tips and lessons they learned are shared for you in this blog post.

Ibercup 2019 u15 final

Ibercup 2019 u15 final referees: Adrian Vornicu (AR2), Josu Perez (4th), Lucian Diaconu (referee) and Harvey Newstead.

Working with refs from all over the world

“To be involved in the tournament was great”, says Harvey Newstead Level 6 & National FA CORE Referee at Norfolk County FA. “Also to work with referees with different experiences and of different nationalities. And to be observed by some very experienced referees from across the world was great too. To be appointed a Final was an honour and I was grateful to receive the game. To be involved in any final is great and this was an enjoyable final with a good atmosphere around the stadium and it was great to work with the Romanian and Spanish officials.”

Managing expectations

“The biggest lesson I learnt would be on the pitch refereeing teams from different countries and managing their expectations”, says Harvey Newstead. “Plus also finding a balance in the game of what to give and what not to give, as teams have different cultures and styles of playing the game. So I think that was a challenge, but something I learnt throughout the week.” And for him it is also good to learn from the officials he workes with everyday during the tournament.

Ibercup u14 final

Ibercup u14 final: 4th official Tom Mitchell, AR1 Santiago Bedoya, referee Cedric Livreiro, AR2 Raphael Fickler.

Learn from experienced observers

“It was a very educational experience that will only make you a better referee”, says Cedric Livreiro from Belgium. Cedric Levreiro agrees with Harvey Newstead that working with referees from all over the world was an honour. “And collaborating with different observers, who have rich history in refreeeing. That’s one of the moments I really was looking forward to. Because you’ll be educated by the best in your profession.”

After a whole week of refereeing Cedric Livreiro gets the chance to officiate the u14 final between Juventus and Benfica. “The cherry on the cake”, he says. “I met a lot of different people this week, that I now call my friends.”

Cedrics biggest lesson? “Take your time to make a decision. You can always get back to it as  long as play has not been restarted yet”.

Refereeing abroad stimulates your motivation

“It was an unique and incredible experience, because we had contact with people from different countries”. That is the first impression by Flávio Jesus, 4th official in the u13 final between Gremio (Bra) and Porto (Por).  He worked with officials from Canada, The Netherlands and England. “Excellent teams allow us to develop our knowledge in area of soccer. The final is the milestone of the tournamen. With a lot of people watching the game it causes an huge impact on the referees and players. Therefore, it was that moment that has increased and stimulated my motivation.”

Be open-minded so you can really develop

“My best tip is to be very open-minded with a humble mindset”, says Santiago Bedoya, AR in one of the finals. “This is important if you want to develop, both as a referee and as a person. Be like a sponge, take in everything during the time, things you learn during the matches as well as tips and tricks from the assessors who’s only job is to help you.”

Ibercup 2019 u13 final referees

Ibercup 2019 u13 final referees: Luc Schoenmakers (AR1), Jeremy Laroche (referee), Flávio Jesus (4th) and Harry Atkin

Importance of communication

The tournament and the final was like nothing Jeremy Laroche from Canada ever experienced before. “It was an amazing blend of high level play, atmosphere, and pressure situations which made it an ideal environment for us match officials to learn and develop in.”

“The biggest lesson I learned is the importance of communication. It can help make match control easier, improve the credibility of decisions, as well as gain the respect of the players when done well. It is something I had to work on during the tournament due to the language barrier with foreign teams.”

Use positive words towards players

For Dutch referee Luc Schoenmakers it was also an honour to be involved in the final between Gremio and Porto. “Together with Harry, Jeremy in the middle and Flávio as 4th official we had a top team.” 

Luc was impressed by the atmosphere in during and before the game. Camera teams, instructions on what to do – the whole scenario written out. “And then the moment we walk out on the field of play. Goose bumps!” 

During the Ibercup Luc gets the chance to officiate top teams like Real Madrid, Juventes and Real Betis, and many more. “And then you’re observed by Bobby Madley, a former Premier League referee.” After that game he points out the details that can make you a better referee. “Saying something positive, instead of negative. Like it’s a good tackle instead of no foul”. Luc likes this positive approach towards the game and the players. 

“I am proud to be part of this”.

Will Quartermain (2nd from right) with his team.

Will Quartermain (2nd from right) with his team. On the left, that’s me 😉

Adjust your refereeing style

Will Quartermain flew all the way over from Australia with his parents and brother to referee games at Ibercup Cascais. “For me beging a ref from Australia and the Asian confederation, it was a really different experience in terms of football style compared to back home. The different tactics adopted by different teams of high calibre meant I had to quickly adjust to a more European style of refereeing. It was a real learning experience.”

Take time to make your decisions

The biggest lesson I learnt was to take time, says Will Quartermain. “No need to rush to make every decision correct. In faster paced games taking time to make a decision can bring the game back under the tempo and control you prefer.”

Ibercup: a great experience for referees

The Ibercup in Cascais iss a great experience for me, because it showed me so many new sides of refereeing. During my visit to Portugal I observed lots of referees with potential and was happy these (mostly) young lads are willing to improve themselves. In 2019 I’ll be joining the tournament again.

This blog story is about my six days in Cascais as a referee assessor for Tournaments Abroad. But it also shows why tournaments like this can help you as a referee on your journey to the top.

Ibercup 2018 referee observer

5 reasons why going to Ibercup is a great experience

1. Getting used to different cultures and languages

The football tournament shows different cultures and styles – not just from the teams, also the referees. Some referees are not used to neutral assistants, which influences their running patterns. Others tend to use less hand signals, because that is not common in their country. Let alone the language barrier. For referees English is the language, but not all kids (u9 – u15) or coaches talk English.

That combination is a great challenge for referees, but also a good learning experience. For me it was good to notice some habits or differences are not crucial, because I am used to it in The Netherlands. Some other habits work out well on the pitch.

For the referees it shows how important good communication skills are. Plus how important it is to talk with your assistants about what you expect from them. Even when you’re back home, a good briefing will improve your team work.

2. Learn from others

Who is responsible for your own development?

Yes, it’s you. It is important to keep that in mind all the time.

For me it was great to work with more experienced referee observers. I was able to discuss situations and how they would interprete that or how they would help referees. I love that.

For the referees it’s also an interesting way to learn from others. During the Ibercup 2018 in Cascais you get the chance to be watched by a referee observer. Listen to them and pick the things out that work well for you. But that’s not all. Lots of referees to see during the week in Cascais. You’ll learn a lot from them and make yourself a better referee

3. Get the drive to improve and do your best

Some referees do have the drive to improve, but this tournament gives you that for sure. For me it’s great to learn from experienced UK assessors of people involved in Uefa’s Centre Of Refereeing Excellence.

For the referees tournaments are a bit of competition. Not a bad one though. If you go to Portugal you would be very happy to reach the final. That’s an honour. Referees gave there very best and listened to the observers and refereeing colleagues carefully. That could help them during their next game. Referees were so keen on getting their assessment reports, they asked me a lot about it.

And then the moment the finals are appointed. It’s great to see the emotion, because that’s what they’ve worked hard for. I was in the school to grab dinner and saw refs cheering and high-fiving after a great appointment. A tournament like this gets the best out of you as referee. And it feels great when it gets rewarded with a final.

4. Being involved in refereeing the whole day

A tournament like this is all about refereeing. Tournaments Abroad will get you a room in a school or you can upgrade it to an hotel room. You start the day early with breakfast. Then you go to your games with a minibus or public transport. You’ll do 7-aside games on your own or work with a team of four referees and change roles constantly. Then you’ll go back to the central school for lunch and in the afternoon you might even get out to some new games as well. Also dinner is provided, where you eat with fellow refs.

Busy days, but who doesn’t like days full of refereeing?

5. Meeting new friends

At tournaments like this you get the chance to work with referees from more than twenty countries. It is the perfect opportunity to meet new friends – all with a great hobby. Meeting new people is a great experience. I hope you can do this one more day as well.

For who is interesting to know more? On you’ll find lots of pictures. Just reply or e-mail me to ask more about tournaments like this.

Club referee in The Netherlands: Clarence Leow from Singapore

Being a club referee in The Netherlands, that’s a unique chance to referee games as foreign referee. Clarence Leow can’t referee games for KNVB, because his stay in The Netherlands is too short. He thinks he’ll only train at the referee association … But luckily for him there’s a club referee system and he officiates over twenty games. A great foreign experience as referee. “I’ll take this with me to Singapore and will continue my career there.”

Club referee in the netherlands: clarence Leow

Clarence Leow is a 23-year-old student in Biomedical Sciences, who studied one semester in Leiden for an exchange programme. His FA wrote a letter for me to send to the KNVB, but in the opinion of the Dutch association a stay of just four months is too short to become KNVB official. “And I agree with them now”, says Leow. “They don’t know how good I am. If they first need to assess me, my time in The Netherlands is up.”

Local referee association

KNVB advises Leow to get in touch with a local branch of the COVS, the referee association. Leow’s idea is then that he will only train, but things change. In The Netherlands there are options to become a club referee. “Manon, a fellow ref asks me if I want to referee. She plays (and referees) at Voorschoten’97 and they need referees every week.”

Clarence Leow showing a yellow card.

Clarence Leow showing a yellow card. Photo provided by referee.

And that’s not where it stops, as one of the Saturday teams from Voorschoten ‘97 were in need of players as well. “I referee two to three games a day and even play in the weekend’s.” He describes his craziest day where he officiates at another club (RKAVV in Leidschendam) at 9 am, travels in 45 minutes with public transport to Voorschoten’97 to officiate a game there at 12.30pm and plays for his team at 4.15 pm. “I woke up at 6 in the morning and was home late in the evening.”

What he loves as club referee in The Netherlands

“What I love the most about refereeing in The Netherlands is that players understand that referees are human”, he says. He loves a simple “thank you, ref”, which he usually gets here. In Singapore referees line-up teams before and after the game for a handshake, but that is organised. In The Netherlands it comes more natural. “They even do it when they lose with 10-0.”

Clarence Leow and flowers

“Extra special was the week of the referee where I received a bouquet for flowers after my game on a Sunday. It’s a good example my country could start with as well”, he says. “And you don’t go to a game to receive praises, but every once in a while it feels good to be appreciated.”

A big difference for him was the use of club assistant referees and the sin bin. “ The sin bin is a good way for players to cool down. But it took some time for me to get used to the use of club assistant referees during my games.

Clarence Leow

Clarence Leow. Photo provided by referee.

COVS training

Leow enjoys his time at COVS with training sessions from Piet, Ernst-Jan, Remco and Koos. And a video test on Thursdays. “Everyone was very welcoming to me.”

But his start in Leiden was not good, he admits. “In Singapore buses arrive every ten minutes, but in The Netherlands the schedule changes after 7PM. Then it goes every thirty or even sixty minutes. I missed my bus to COVS, so I decide to run for three kilometres with my bag. I was 10 minutes late at the first training session. I was a bit worried, as punctuality is very important for referees. But thankfully, Ronald from COVS was very understanding.”

Clarence Leow


Funny moments: whistle

In his first month in The Netherlands, Leow barely speaks Dutch. This leads to a funny situation. There’s a direct free kick near the penalty are. Leow tells the players in English to wait for the whistle. Everyone is looking to the halfway line, but don’t know why they have to wait. That’s because the players think the referee wants a wissel, the Dutch word for substitute, which sounds similar. In the end they understand each other and play continues.

When Leow got back in Singapore he re-registers and does the FIFA fitness test. “I am really lucky to be given the chance by Voorschoten’97 and COVS for this experience in The Netherlands. My biggest learning in The Netherlands is positional awareness. I gained more experience in getting used to the pace of the game. You never know if games are fast or slow. But no referee wants a boring game. Luckily I have done some great ones here and I’ll never forget this experience.”

Referees from Singapore

Referees from Singapore. Photo provided by referee.

Week 26 Laws of the Game Quiz 2018-2019

It’s time for week 26 Laws of the Game Quiz 2018-2019. I’ll start with a moment from the German cup game between Bayern Munich and Heidenheim. Niklas Süle fouls an attacker, see picture below. What is your decision?

DOGSO or not

The questions

Week 25 Laws of the Game Quiz 2018-2019

Week 25 Laws of the Game Quiz 2018-2019. Good luck with the new quiz!

PS: last week you might have seen that you could score 6 points. This week subscription to the newsletter, which was accidentally given a point, is no longer a point. You’re totally free to subscribe and it won’t change/influence if you will win the gifts.

Ball crossing the line