RWANDAN referee, Salima Rhadia Mukansanga, will make history when she becomes the first woman to referee a match at the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Tuesday.
A statement on the CAF official website said Mukansanga, 35, will take charge of the group stage match between Zimbabwe and Guinea on Tuesday at 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT) at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde.
They will also be the first all-women team official since the inception of the tournament.
Mukansanga will be assisted by Carine Atemzabong (Cameroon), Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco), and the VAR referee, Bouchra Karboubi (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.
Mukansanga’s feat has been described as historic by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
According to the organisation’s Head of Referees, Eddy Maillet, the development is a testament to CAF’s commitment to investing and improving 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,” 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.”
The Rwanda’s top woman referee was named to the 75-woman list of match officials for FIFA Women’s World Cup France in 2019.
Arguably the best and most famous referee Rwanda has ever produced, Mukansanga was the sole African match official at the U17 Women’s World Cup in 2019.