One of the first female referees ever to serve at a men’s World Cup, Salima Mukansanga has been ridiculed and physically threatened during a match in her home country, when some supporters branded her a prostitute.
Salima Mukansanga officiated a 0-0 tie between Kiyovu Sport and Gasogi United on Saturday, but game reports show that she was abused, according to a Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa) spokeswoman.
Rwanda’s football governing body is now investigating harassment and attempted violence against her by fans in the local male’s league, and the disciplinary committee will take action following the probe.
Attendees at the game reported that a number of Kiyovu Sport fans continually screamed “prostitute” at Ms Mukansanga. ” After the game, security had to interfere to prevent some of them from physically abusing her,” Ferwafa’s Jules Karangwa said.
Kiyovu Sport supporters President Hemedi Minani apologised in an open letter for the harassment and insults sent at Mrs Mukansanga.
Ms Mukasanga was part of the first team of three female referees to ever officiate a male world cup last year in Qatar. She had also become the first female referee for the men’s Africa Cup of Nations a few months before.
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