England men’s side to be refereed by a woman for first time ever against Andorra

England's senior men's side will be refereed by a female for the first time ever when they go away to Andorra on Saturday night.

The Three Lions' latest World Cup qualifier is set to be officiated by Ukrainian referee Kateryna Monzul, who has overseen international matches in the women's game since 2005.

Monzul, 40, has previously refereed at the 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 World Cups as well as the the 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017 European Championships.

She has also been working in the men's Ukrainian Premier League over the past five years, receiving an award for best arbiter in the division back in 2019/20.

Monzul was part of the first ever all-female refereeing team for a senior men's international match, taking charge of San Marino and Gibraltar's Nations League clash in November of last year.

On Saturday night she will be assisted by other women: Maryna Striletska and Svitlana Grushko will be her assistant referees, while Stephanie Frappart will be the VAR official.

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However, her fourth official and assistant VAR official at the Estadi Nacional will be male.

When Monzul was chosen to referee Austria's 3-1 win over the Faroe Islands in March, legendary official Pierluigi Collina said: “Fifa will continue to champion the development of female refereeing and I’m confident that the appointment of female match officials to men’s games will be absolutely commonplace in the future.”

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England are in need of a victory to strengthen their grip on top spot in World Cup qualifying Group I.

Gareth Southgate's men currently hold a four-point lead over Albania in second place, while third-place Poland are a point behind the latter.

Only the top team in each group will qualify for next year's tournament, which is due to take place in Qatar.

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Due to the extreme heat in the country, the Qatar World Cup will be held in the winter next year, getting underway on November 21 and running up until 18 December.

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