Salima Rhadia Mukansanga, a Rwandan-born female referee on Tuesday made history when she became the first ever woman centre referee to officiate a match at the finals of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations.

Mukansanga, 35, took charge of the group stage match between Zimbabwe and Guinea at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde. Game ended 2-1 in favor of Zimbabwe.

For the first time, the tournament also witnessed an all-female team officiating the same game. The other officials are assistant referees Carine Atemzabong from Cameroon, Fatiha Jermoumi and VAR referee Bouchra Karboubi both from Morocco.

On 10 January 2022, Mukansanga made history by becoming the first woman to officiate a match in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations when she was appointed as a fourth official in the game between Guinea and Malawi in Bafoussam.

CAF Head of Referees, Eddy Maillet said this historic moment is as a result of CAF’s clear commitment and investment to improve and advance the standard of refereeing in Africa. Part of this journey is the ‘Star Programme’ initiated by FIFA and CAF to develop referees.

Maillet said: “We are super proud of Salima because she has had to work exceptionally hard to be where she is today. We know that for a woman, she has had to overcome serious obstacles to reach this level and she deserves a lot of credit. This moment is not just for Salima but for every young girl in Africa who has passion for football and who sees herself as a referee in the future.”

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is a Ugandan Journalist with passion for current African affairs.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply