Seria A Ready For First Female Referee This Weekend

By Chimezie Nebolisa

Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi is set to become the first female to officiate a match in Italy's Serie when she takes charge of a game this weekend.

Caputi was promoted to the top tier of Italian football's match officials in July. Reports say that she will be assigned Sassuolo's home clash with Salernitana on Sunday afternoon.

"This isn't any old day, I'm pretty emotional. Maria Sole will make her Serie A debut on the basis of her merit... We don't hand out privileges, Maria Sole has earned this, and it's a success for the whole refereeing sector," said AIA president Alfredo Trentalange in a press conference.

The 31-year-old refereed in the third-tier Serie C last season but she has already refereed a match featuring a Serie A side, when Cagliari played Cittadella in the Italian Cup in December last year.

Women referees are becoming increasingly common in the men's game, with three selected for the upcoming men's World Cup in Qatar.

Amongst that trio is Stephanie Frappart, the highest profile women's referee who has taken charge of men's matches in the Champions League, French Ligue 1 and World Cup qualifiers.