News
Africa Cup of Nations

Rwanda referee Mukansanga and her all-female assistants make history at Afcon 2021

7:58 PM WAT 18/01/2022
Referee Salima Mukansanga Zimbabwe and Guinea
The 35-year-old became the first woman to referee a match at Afcon and led an all female team of officials for the Zimbabwe vs Guinea match

Rwanda referee Salima Rhadia Mukansanga made history as the first-ever woman referee to officiate in the Africa Cup of Nations when she blew the whistle for Zimbabwe's surprise 2-1 victory over Guinea on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old, who had already served as the fourth official during the Malawi versus Guinea fixture, took charge of the Group B clash at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.

She led an all-female team of match officials with assistant referees Carine Atemzabong (Cameroon) and Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco) running the lines and VAR being adjudicated by Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco).

The match was a relatively quiet affair for the officials, with Naby Keita's second yellow card of the tournament late on being the main talking point as he is now suspended for Guinea's Round of 16 fixture.


Ahead of the match, Caf Head of Referees Eddy Maillet said this historic moment was a result of Caf’s clear commitment and investment in improving and advancing 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,” Maillet said as quoted by CafOnline.

“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 a passion for football and who sees herself as a referee in the future.”