Salima Rhadia Mukansanga will today make history when she referees the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) match between Zimbabwe and Guinea.
The Rwandan-born referee will be the first woman to referee an AFCON match. The 35-year-old is part of an all-female lineup for the encounter at Yaounde’s Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.
They will also be the first all-female team to compete in the event since its establishment.
Carine Atemzabong (Cameroon), Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco), and VAR referee Bouchra Karboubi will help Mukansanga (Morocco).
Mukansanga had already made history by becoming the first woman to referee a game at the continental showcase when she served as the fourth official in a match between Guinea and Malawi at Bafoussam.
The Confederation of African Football has hailed Mukansanga’s achievement as historic (CAF).
The development, according to CAF’s Head of Referees, Eddy Maillet, demonstrates the organization’s commitment to investing in and improving the standard of officiating in Africa.
“We are super proud of Salima because she has had to work exceptionally hard to be where she is today,” she told Caf Online.
“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.”