An Irish referee will make history this month as she joins a team of female officials at this month’s UEFA Super Cup clash between Chelsea and Liverpool.
Michelle O’Neill will be part of the refereeing team for the match which will be led by Frenchwoman Stéphanie Frappart - the first time a female official takes charge of a major UEFA men's competition event.
A Wexford native, O’Neill officiates in the FAI Continental Tyres Women's National League and is an assistant referee in the SSE Airtricity League.
The August 14 fixture at Beşiktaş Park in Istanbul between the Champions League winners and the Europa League holders will be officiated by the same refereeing team that took to the pitch at this summer’s Women's World Cup final in Lyon.
Ms Frappart and Ms O’Neill will also be joined by assistant referee, Manuela Nicolosi of France; while the fourth official will be Turkey's Cuneyt Cakir.
"I have said on many occasions that the potential for women's football has no limits and I am delighted that Stéphanie Frappart has been appointed to officiate at this year's UEFA Super Cup along with assistant referees Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O'Neill," said UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin.
"As an organisation, we place the utmost importance on the development of women's football in all areas.
I hope the skill and devotion that Stéphanie has shown throughout her career to reach this level will provide inspiration to millions of girls and women around Europe and show them there should be no barriers in order to reach one's dream.
UEFA chief refereeing officer, Roberto Rosetti, praised Frappart's ability as an official and said she "fully deserves" the opportunity to oversee such a high-profile fixture.
"Stéphanie has proved over a number of years that she is one of the best female referees, not just in Europe but across the world," said Rosetti.
"She has the ability to officiate on the biggest stage, as she proved at this year's Women's World Cup final.
"I hope this match in Istanbul will provide her with yet more experience as she enters the prime of her refereeing career."
Frappart is not the first female referee assigned to a men's UEFA competition match. Switzerland's Nicole Petignat refereed three UEFA Cup qualifying round games between 2004 and 2009.