Yamashita leads 1st all-woman referee team in J-League

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AFP, Tokyo :
Trailblazing Japanese referee Yoshimi Yamashita made more history on Saturday as part of the first all-woman team of officials to take charge of a first-division game in the men’s J-League.

Yamashita took the whistle for defending champions Yokohama F. Marinos’ match against Nagoya Grampus, flanked by assistants Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi.
The game ended in a 1-1 draw, with Yamashita dishing out three yellow cards.

“I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to stand on the J1 League field today with the three of us,” she said in a statement after the game.
Yamashita became the first woman to officiate a first-division J-League game last September, and was one of three women named on the list of 36 referees for the men’s World Cup.

She did not take charge of a match in Qatar but was the fourth official for six first-round games.

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Yamashita, Bozono and Teshirogi broke new ground last year when the three- woman team officiated a men’s game in the Asian Champions League.

The trio have all been included on the list of referees and assistants for this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Frenchwoman Stephanie Frappart made history last year by becoming the first woman to referee a match at a men’s World Cup when she took charge of the Group E clash between Germany and Costa Rica.

She was part of an all-woman refereeing team for the match, backed by assistants Neuza Back of Brazil and Mexico’s Karen Diaz Medina.