Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga makes history as first woman to referee AFCON match

Rwandan Salima Mukansanga made history on Tuesday by becoming the first woman to referee an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) match.

She officiated the Group B clash between Guinea and Zimbabwe at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde.

The 35-year-old had already made history on January 10 by becoming the first woman to officiate a match in the AFCON when she was appointed as a fourth official in the game between Guinea and Malawi in Bafoussam.

She is part of the quartet selected as match officials in the 2021 AFCON tournament since the competition was established.

The other women match officials are assistant referees Carine Atemzabong (Cameroon) and Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco) as well as VAR referee Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco).

CAF head of referees, Eddy Maillet, had in a statement said the historic moment was as a result of CAF’s clear commitment and investment to improve and advance the standard of refereeing in Africa.

“We are super proud of Salima because she has had to work exceptionally hard to be where she is today. We know that as 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,” Maillet told CAFOnline.