QATAR 2022

World Cup history! Rwandese female referee to officiate in Qatar

Congratulations Salima Mukansanga!

Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga poses prior to the Group B Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Zimbabwe and Guinea at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde on January 18, 2022. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda continues to be a trailblazer in the world of football as she is set to make history at the 2022 men's FIFA World Cup as one of the first female referees to take charge of matches.

On Thursday, May 19, FIFA announced the list of 36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials that have been selected for the tournament, which is to be held in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.

33-year-old Mukansanga, 39-year-old Stephanie Frappart of France and 38-year-old Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan are among the 36 referees. There are also three women in the 69 assistant referees – Neuza Back of Brazil, Mexican Karen Diaz Medina and Kathryn Nesbitt from the United States.

2022 has been an amazing year for Mukansanga as she also became the first female referee to officiate at the men's Africa Cup of Nations held between January 9 to February 6 in Cameroon.

Mukansanga was already 4th official in the AFCON 2022 game between Guinea and Malawi, making her the first female match official in the tournament.

However, on Tuesday January 18th 2022 she officiated a match between Zimbabwe and Guinea, leading an all-female team with female assistants Carine Atemzabong (Cameroon) and Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco) as well as VAR referee Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco).

In 2021, the Nursing and Midwifery graduate was involved at the Tokyo Olympics when she took charge of Great Britain’s 2-0 win over Chile in Sapporo. She was also heavily involved in the inaugural edition of the CAF Women's Champions League in Egypt.

In 2019, she was also an official at the FIFA Women's World Cup in France. While in 2016, the Rwandese was the referee for the final of Africa Women Cup of Nations between hosts Cameroon and Nigeria.

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