Serie A will have its first-ever woman referee next season after Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi was promoted on Friday to the top rung of Italian football match officials.
Ferrieri Caputi refereed in the third-tier Serie C last season but the Italian Referees Association officially named the 31-year-old in its national commission, meaning that she can now take control of matches in the country’s top division.
“It’s a dream come true, a historic moment, Maria Sole has been promoted because she deserves it,” said AIA president Alfredo Trentalange after unveiling the refereeing lineup for the 2022/23 season.
Ferrieri Caputi was one of five referees promoted to Italy’s top flight, while another woman Tiziana Trasciatti was promoted as a referee’s assistant.
She has already refereed a match featuring a Serie A side when Cagliari played Cittadella in the Italian Cup in December and also officiated the latter team’s Serie B match with SPAL two months previously.
Women referees are becoming increasingly common in the men’s game, with three selected for the upcoming men’s World Cup in Qatar.
Among that trio is Stephanie Frappart, the highest-profile women’s referee who has taken charge of men’s matches in the Champions League, French Ligue 1 and World Cup qualifiers.