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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Rwanda referee Mukansanga to make history in Zimbabwe vs Guinea game

3:57 AM EST 1/18/22
Fourth Official Salima Mukansanga during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon.
The 35-year-old will be the centre referee when the Flames take on the Syli Nationale in their third Group B fixture on Tuesday

Rwanda referee Salima Rhadia Mukansanga will make history as the first-ever woman's referee to officiate in the Africa Cup of Nations in the match pitting Zimbabwe against Guinea on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old, who was the fourth official during the Malawi versus Guinea fixture, will now take full charge of the Group B clash at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.

Caf has confirmed Mukansanga will be assisted by other women referees - assistant referees Carine Atemzabong (Cameroon) and Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco) as well as VAR referee Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco).

“Proud moment for Caf and Africa as the quartet prepare to make history on Tuesday,” Caf said in a statement on their official website. “Rwandan-born referee Salima Rhadia Mukansanga will make history in the next few hours when she becomes the first woman to referee a match at the finals of Afcon.

“Mukansanga, 35, will take charge of the group stage match between Zimbabwe and Guinea on Tuesday, 18 January 2022 at 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT) at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde.”

The statement continued: “She is part of the quartet selected as match officials at the match, making it the first time ever that an all-women team officiates a match at the 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].

“On January 10, 2022, Mukansanga made history by becoming the first woman to officiate a match in Afcon when she was appointed as a fourth official in the game between Guinea and Malawi in Bafoussam."

Speaking on Mukansanga’s latest achievement, Caf Head of Referees, Eddy Maillet said this historic moment is 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,” 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.”