In the supporting role: Stephanie Frappart as the fourth official in the game between Mexico and Poland
HANNAH MCKAY / REUTERS
Stephanie Frappart experienced her first little moment for the history books in Qatar.
Away from the main spotlight, the Frenchwoman served as fourth official in the Mexico-Poland match and became the first woman to referee at a men's World Cup.
But otherwise she has to be very patient - even after two days of preliminary rounds, the wait for the long-awaited big premiere continues.
Like her colleagues Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda) and Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan), she only has a supporting role on the biggest possible stage.
No woman has ever been allowed to referee a game at a men's World Cup.
The nomination of the female trio is "proof that quality and not gender" counts, Fifa chief referee Pierluigi Collina emphasized in the run-up to the tournament: "They deserve to be there because they consistently perform very well .«
28 of the 33 men deployed, many multiple times
Since no woman has been nominated after halftime of the tournament and the end of the second day of the group stage, the question arises as to whether Fifa is really serious about equality.
Or whether the naming of the women was an image measure.
28 of the 33 male teammates have already played, and by Wednesday a dozen of them will have refereed a game twice, including Daniele Orsato (Italy) and Alireza Faghani from Iran.
"Each nomination is done with great care to try to find the best refereeing teams each time," Collina said.
Collina did not speak further about the criteria for selecting the teams.
Frappart feels ready.
"We've made great strides in recent years," she said ahead of the World Cup.
And the 38-year-old is well known on the big stage.
She was the first woman to officiate a French Ligue 1 game, a Champions League game and a World Cup qualifier.