Who is Maria Sole Caputi, the first female referee in Serie A, the top professional division of the Italian men’s football championship?
The story towards gender equality has been made. At the world championship in Qatar we will have three female referees. Recently Serie A also seems ready to take the big step.
The president of the Italian Football Referee Association (Associazione Italiana Arbitri) Alfredo Trentalange has chosen Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi, 32 years old from Livorno as the first female referee in Serie A.
Maria Sole Caputi’s Biography
Maria Sole Caputi was born in Livorno, November 20th 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Pisa and a master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Florence.
She is currently a researcher at the Adapt Foundation (Association for International and Comparative Studies on Labor Law and Industrial Relations) and at the same time a PhD student at the University of Bergamo.
Maria Sole Caputi began her career as a football referee in 2007. After the initial path in the provincial and regional categories, in 2015 she made her debut in Serie D on November 14, 2015 in the match between Levico and Atl. San Paolo PD.
Maria Sole Caputi made her European debut on 30 August 2019 when she was in charge of the match between Scotland and Cyprus for the qualifications for the 2022 European Women’s Football Championship.
On 1 September 2020 she was promoted to Serie C and made her debut on the following 8 November, directing the match between Pro Patria and Pro Sesto.
On 15 December, she was in charge of the match between Cagliari-Cittadella, in the 32th round of the Italian Cup. She is the first female referee in the history of Italian football to direct an official match for a Serie A club.
Do not call me female referee
If she makes his Serie A debut next season it will be for merit and not by privilege. Maria Sole said in an interview, “Don’t call me female referee (arbitra). Just call me referee (arbitro). Ninety times out of a hundred when they call me female referee (arbitra) just to emphasize that I am a woman. So I prefer referee (arbitro).”
She continued by saying, “I believe that when there is no longer the need to underline it, then it will mean that there will really be equality”.
She admits that it is not easy being a female referee, especially in an environment dominated by men. However, she hopes that many younger female referees in Italy will follow her steps.
Source: luce.lanazione.it. Image: altoadige.it.