Three women referees and three women assistant referees have been announced by FIFA among 129 officials selected for World Cup duty in Qatar.

This year marks the first time the tournament will be held in the Middle East, and the tournament has been pushed to later in the year than is typical to avoid the region’s summer heat.
This year marks the first time the tournament will be held in the Middle East, and the tournament has been pushed to later in the year than is typical to avoid the region’s summer heat. (AFP)

For the first time ever there will be women referees at a men's World Cup finals after FIFA revealed the list for the quadrennial showpiece to be hosted later this year by Qatar.

France's Stephanie Frappart, Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda and Japan's Yoshimi Yamashita are among the 36 match referees.

Brazil's Neuza Back, Mexico's Karen Diaz Medina and American Kathryn Nesbitt have been included in the 69 assistant referees.

The three women referees and three women assistant referees were among the 129 officials selected for World Cup duty by FIFA on Thursday.

France's Frappart already worked men’s games in World Cup qualifying and the Champions League, after handling the 2019 Women’s World Cup final. She also refereed the final of the men's French Cup this month.

READ MORE: FIFA unveils Qatar World Cup schedule, Germany to face Spain in group stage

'Quality counts, not gender'

"We are very happy that...we have been able to call up female match officials for the first time in the history of a FIFA World Cup," said FIFA Referees Committee chairman Pierluigi Collina.

"This concludes a long process that began several years ago with the deployment of female referees at FIFA men's junior and senior tournaments.

"In this way, we clearly emphasise that it is quality that counts for us and not gender. I would hope that in the future, the selection of elite women's match officials for important men's competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational."

All match officials for the finals will participate in early summer in seminars in Asuncion, Madrid and Doha.

"We can't eliminate all mistakes, but we will do everything we can to reduce them," said Massimo Busacca, FIFA's Director of Refereeing.

READ MORE: FIFA: Brazil, Argentina must play abandoned World Cup qualifier

Source: TRTWorld and agencies