Mukansanga: Rwandan Female Referee Makes History at Qatar World Cup

World Cup: Rwandan Female Referee Mukansanga Makes History (News Central TV)

Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda, who officiated in a World Cup match for men on Tuesday, made history as the continent’s first female referee.

The 34-year-old served as the fourth referee in the contest between France and Australia, the current world champions.

Victor Gomes of South Africa served as the centre official, and he was supported by Lesotho’s Souru Phatoane and Zakhele Siwela of his own country.

South African Referee Victor Gomes

Mukansanga presided over a game for the first time as a woman earlier this year at the men’s Africa Cup of Nations, which was first played in 1958. The previous year, she officiated at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Salima Mukansanga (born 1988) is an international football referee from Rwanda who is a listed international referee for FIFA since 2012. She was an official at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

In 2022, Mukansanga became the first woman to referee at the African Cup of Nations, leading out an all-woman officiating team of Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco), Carine Atemzabong (Cameroon), and Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco) as the VAR.

She has officiated at the Olympics, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Africa Women Cup of Nations and CAF Women’s Champions League.

Mukansanga initially was involved in basketball but took up a career in football after being told that she was too young to join the national under-17 basketball squad.

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She approached the Rwanda Football Federation about joining a refereeing course after finishing secondary school but this was declined on the basis of her being too young again.

She would later be allowed to take up a course with them after learning the laws of football herself in her own time. At the start of her career, Mukansanga officiated men’s local amateur football matches and women’s national second division matches in Rwanda


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