Serie A Matchday 34‘s fixture of Inter vs Torino will be remembered for reasons beyond the Nerazzurri taking to the field for the first time since being crowned Italian champions. The match also marked as historic as it was taken charge of by the first-ever all-female team of officials in the men’s Serie A.

The team was led by 33-year-old referee Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi from Livorno. She was joined by assistants Francesca Di Monte from Chieti and Tiziana Trasciatti from Foligno.

It is not the first time that this has happened in Italian men’s football, though. The highly-rated Ferrieri Caputi herself led an all-female team for a Coppa Italia game between Napoli and Cremonese months earlier, and Serie B has also seen an all-female team of officials.

Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi officiates Germany vs Peru. (Photo: Getty)

“This is something that fills us with pride,” said Katia Senesi, the first woman to be part of the National Committee of the Italian Referees’ Association (AIA), to ANSA. “We’ve been working for years to give women the opportunities they deserve.

“There’s a long way to go, but we can definitely say that the landscape has changed. At the moment women make up about 10% of officials, but when it comes to new entries the number of women has surpassed the number of men.”

Ferrieri Caputi already the first woman to referee in men’s Serie A

Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi has already made history in Italian men’s football. On October 2, 2022, she became the first female referee to take charge of a Serie A match when she was appointed as the referee for Sassuolo vs Salernitana

In 2023/24, Inter vs Torino became her seventh game, without having previously shown a red card. She handed out her first red card in that very game, after Toro’s Adrien Tameze denied Henrikh Mkhitaryan a clear goalscoring opportunity.

The game at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza marked her first time refereeing Inter, though she had previously refereed a Torino win against Sassuolo in November 2023.

Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi. (Photo: Getty)

Who is Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi?

Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi was born in Livorno on November 20, 1990. Away from football, she is a graduate of the University of Pisa in Political Science and International Relations, then going on to study Sociology at the University of Florence.

Ferrieri Caputi became the first woman to ever referee a men’s Serie A match in the 2022/23 season, overseeing Sassuolo vs Salernitana on Matchday 8. The Neroverdi won 5-0. She was the fourth official on Matchday 3 in Monza vs Udinese.

She had, though, already officiated a game involving a Serie A side before then. In 2021/22, Ferrieri Caputi was the referee for a Coppa Italia game between Cagliari and Cittadella. On that occasion, she ruled out three goals – one with the help of VAR – and her impressive performance saw her status rise.

On January 17, 2023, Ferrieri Caputi was the referee as Cremonese eliminated Napoli from the Coppa Italia. Her two assistants on that occasion were also women, forming the first-ever trio composed of only women to oversee a competitive men’s first-team game in Italy.

The AIA – Italian Referees’ Association – even produced a documentary about Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi, which you can watch below.

A documentary film about Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi