O'Neill during a Premier Division game between St Pat's and Bray Wanderers. Gary Carr/INPHO
world stage

Wexford's Michelle O'Neill will officiate World Cup quarter-final between Germany and Sweden

The 40-year-old assistant referee is officiating at her second World Cup this summer in France.

IRISH ASSISTANT REFEREE Michelle O’Neill has been chosen to officiate at Saturday’s Women’s World Cup quarter-final between Germany and Sweden in Rennes.

O’Neill is a regular fixture at League of Ireland and Women’s National League games and has worked at many Fifa and Uefa competitions across the world as an assistant referee.

The Wexford native became the first Irish woman to referee at a World Cup in Canada four years ago, most notably officiating the US’s quarter-final meeting with China in front of 65,000 supporters in Ottawa.

This summer O’Neill is undertaking her second successive World Cup, the highest honour of any referee in football.

She was an assistant during Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Japan during the group stages, officiated the Netherlands’ 2-1 victory against Canada and was a VAR official during England’s controversial knockout stage victory against Cameroon.

Stéphanie Frappart, part of O’Neill’s team at the World Cup, will referee Saturday’s quarter-final. Frappart made history last year by becoming the first woman to referee a men’s Ligue 1 game in the French top-flight.

Germany, who are unbeaten with four wins from four, topped Group B with defeats of Spain, China and South Africa before comfortably seeing off Nigeria 3-0 in the round of 16.

Sweden, on the other hand, finished second in Group F. They beat Chile 2-0 and Thailand 5-1, but fell to a 2-0 defeat to World Cup favourites and defending champions the United States.

They beat Canada 1-0 in the knockout stages thanks to a second-half strike from Stina Blackstenius.

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