Meet Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga Who Became First African Woman Referee at Men’s World Cup

Meet Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga Who Became First African Woman Referee at Men’s World Cup

  • Salima Mukansanga, who hails from Rwanda, becomes the first African woman referee at the men’s World Cup
  • The highly experienced match official was selected alongside two other women for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
  • Mukansanga, Stephanie Frappart of France and Yamashita Yoshimi of Japan were all unveiled by FIFA’s chief referee Pierluigi Collina

For the first time, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) named three females among 36 to officiate the men’s World Cup in Qatar.

Salima Mukasanga of Rwanda has just made history again as she becomes the first-ever African female referee at the Mundial.

The other two ladies on such an assignment are Stephanie Frappart of France and Yamashita Yoshimi of Japan.

Salima Mukansanga, World Cup, FIFA, Qatar 2022
Salima Mukansanga is the first African female referee to officiate at the men's World Cup. Photo: Mustafa Yalcin
Source: Getty Images

It’s a remarkable achievement for Mukusanga, who was the first African female referee at the Women’s World Cup 2019 edition and earlier this year.

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As a centre referee, she became the first woman to handle a match at the African Cup of Nations.

While unveiling the female officials, FIFA’s chief referee, Pierluigi Collina, justified FIFA’s decision to incorporate female officials. He said, as per MG:

“They are here not because they are women but because they are FIFA selected match officials.”

However, for Mukansanga, officiating the men’s World Cup is “very exciting, and it’s a privilege for me. I never dreamed of going to the Men’s World Cup.

“No other girl continued. It is a difficult thing because there were times when I was feeling discouraged.”
A nurse by profession, Mukusanga has been a FIFA referee since 2012, officiating international tournaments, including the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Zambian referee under fire

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Sports Brief earlier reported that controversial Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons again, this time at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The referee became famous for inexplicably ending an Africa Cup of Nations match five minutes early and has now been accused of missing an important call during Belgium vs Canada match.

The Canadians gave a good account of themselves against a team ranked second in the world. They started impressively, pinning the 2018 World Cup semi-finalists and getting rewarded.

Source: Sports Brief News