Gareth Southgate believes that having an all-female team of officials for their World Cup qualifier against Andorra is important for gender equality in the sport. Kateryna Monzul will be joined by her Ukrainian referees Maryna Striletska and Svitlana Grushko on the weekend. The VAR will be Stephanie Frappart from France. This game will mark the first time that a woman referee will be in charge of an England men’s game.
“It’s a very important moment for gender equality, absolutely,” Gareth Southgate said before their World Cup qualifier against Andorra. “For us, though, it’s almost irrelevant. It’s the quality of the officiating that’s important, not the gender. We’re looking forward to being part of what is a special occasion.”
“What I liked last month was that there was no complacency in the attitude of the players, there was a feeling of desire to improve and make sure the next steps are the right ones, keep the standards every day and of course we have to qualify first,” he added. “That is the task over the next six days, to get six points. There is an understanding that we are close, we are ranked well in the world, our results over a period of time have been consistent but we know we want to go one step further than the summer. The first thing is a lot of those interviews were when Wales played here, it has been relayed since then, it is a more up-to-date surface.”