Southgate claims historic appointment of female referee is 'very important' for gender equality
Kateryna Monzul will be the referee for England's World Cup Qualifier against Andorra on Saturday
England boss Gareth Southgate believes that the appointment of Kateryna Monzul as referee for England's World Cup Qualifier against Andorra on Saturday is "a very important moment for gender equality."
Monzul will be part of an all-female lineup of on-field officials alongside assistant referees Maryna Striletska and Svitlana Grushko. There will also be female representation on VAR, with Stephanie Frappart in charge, however she will have two male assistants in Denys Shurman and Viktor Matyash working with her.
This will be the first time the England senior men's team have been officiated by a woman and England manager Southgate stressed the significance and importance of gender equality.
"It's a very important moment for gender equality, absolutely," said Southgate.
"For us though, it's almost irrelevant. It's the quality of the official that's important, not the gender.
"We're looking forward to being part of what is a special occasion."
This won't be the first time Monzul has taken charge of an international men's game, having officiated a Nations League tie between San Marino and Gibraltar in 2020 whilst she is also a regular official in the Ukrainian Premier League.
England are as expected, comfortable favourites for the game which will definitely go ahead after fears it may have to be postponed following a fire which broke out at Andorra's national stadium, the Estadi Nacional Stadium.
Southgate is likely to field a rotated side after confirming that Kieran Trippier would captain the team for the first time in the right-back's international career.
England need three more wins from their remaining four World Cup Qualifiers to absolutely guarantee their place at next year's Qatar World Cup with Hungary, Albania and San Marino still to face after tomorrow night's game.
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