Salima Rhadia Mukansanga will become the first woman to referee a game at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals on Tuesday when she will referee the 2021 AFCON match between Zimbabwe and Guinea.
The 35-year-old Rwandan-born is part of the all-women quartet picked for the match at the 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).
Earlier, Mukansanga had made history as the first woman to officiate a game at the continental showpiece when she served as the fourth official in the tie between Guinea and Malawi in Bafoussam.
Mukansanga’s accomplishment has been described as historic by the Confederation of African Football (CAF)’s Head of Referees, Eddy Maillet. She told CAF Online:
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.
Maillet said the development is a testament to CAF’s commitment to investing and improving the standard of refereeing in Africa.
Zimbabwe has now failed to go past the group stage in all its five AFCON appearances and will just play for honor and avoid losing all their group games.
More: Caf Online