Ukrainian ref, 41, goes from Kharkiv war bunker to Wembley as she takes charge of England’s Euro 2022 final

  • Kateryna Monzul will become the first Ukrainian to referee a women’s Euros final
  • Monzul was also the first woman to oversee a senior England men’s match
  • She spent five days in a bunker in native Kharkiv before fleeing the country

Just months ago, she was cowering in an underground bunker with her family in her native city of Kharkiv following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Today, Kateryna Monzul, 41, will become the first Ukrainian to referee a women’s Euros final.

An international referee since 2004, Monzul also made history last October by becoming the first woman to oversee a senior England men’s match – a World Cup qualifier in Andorra.

Just months ago, she was cowering in an underground bunker with her family in her native city of Kharkiv following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Now, Kateryna Monzul, 41, will become the first Ukrainian to referee a women’s Euros final

Monzul spent five days in the bunker before fleeing the country, eventually settling in Italy. ‘When the war started, nobody could believe it,’ she said. ‘My family went to my parents’ home. We were [living] underground – a special place in the house.’

She then travelled by car, along with her two sisters and their three sons, through Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, before arriving in Germany and later Italy.

‘When we left Ukraine, we didn’t have any ideas what the next step was for us,’ she added.

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