Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi: Who is Serie A’s first-ever woman referee?

The 2022/23 season will forever be remembered as historic in Italy. Not only was it the first season of professionalism for Serie A Femminile, but we also saw Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi break new ground as a female referee in the men's game.


The 2022/23 season was a milestone for Italian football. Not only was it the first season of full professionalism for Serie A Femminile, but it was also the campaign in which Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi made history by becoming the first-ever woman to referee in Serie A.

The campaign, then, will forever be remembered as a historic one for Italian women’s football, but also for women involved in Italian men’s football as well, and Ferrieri Caputi’s name will no doubt become a reference as the years pass and more women become involved in the game in Italy and overseas.

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

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.

In her post-studying days, Ferrieri Caputi balances her love of football and officiating with her work at the University of Bergamo, where she works as a researcher and she also works in employment law.

Ferrieri Caputi: The first-ever woman referee in men’s Serie A

Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi speaks to Andrea Consigli. (Photo: Getty)

Maria Sole 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.

Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi career

Ferrieri Caputi is fast becoming an experience female official in men’s football. She has also refereed at international level, both at underage and first-team level.

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

She oversaw an Under-21s game of San Marino vs Albania that ended in a 3-0 win to the visitors. She was also chosen as one of the referees at the Under-17 Women’s World Cup and also named among the list of officials for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

Ferrieri Caputi became the first Italian woman to referee a men’s international football game when she took charge of Germany’s 2-0 defeat of Peru in March 2023.

She was also named as the Assistant Video Referee 2 for the 2023 Women’s Champions League final that saw Barcelona beat Wolfsburg.


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