Kenyan assistant referee officiates first Olympic game

Mary Njoroge is a highly experienced assistant referee.

Mary Njoroge in action at a past Confederation of African Football (CAF) match.

Kenyan assistant referee Mary Njoroge officiated her first football match at the Tokyo Olympics which officially gets underway on Friday, July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

The Games began today with the women’s football event, as team sports usually span a longer timeframe due to recovery periods and the number of matches to be played.

The first football match was Team Great Britain versus debutants Chile in the group stages in which our very own Njoroge was at the limelight.

She is not new to the international football scene as she was also picked to officiate the FIFA Women's World Cup in France that ran from June 7, 2019, to July 7, 2019.

Njoroge has also accomplished major feats in her career as she was short-listed to officiate in the 2012 Africa Women Championships finals held in Equatorial Guinea.

She also made history as she officiated the 2019 U17 Africa Cup of Nations pittting Nigeria and Angola alongside Malawi’s Kwimbira Bernadette, Madagascar’s Lidwine Rakotozafinoro, and Mauritius Queency Victoire.

Last year, Njoroge was named by World Governing body FIFA as a prospective Assistant Referee candidate for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

This will be a welcome boost for Kenya football, in the event that will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The seasoned assistant referee is among the 156 referees and assistant referees selected from all over the world.

Other assistant referees selected for the continental showpiece are; Lidwine Rakotozafinoro (Madagascar), Bernadettar Kwimbira (Malawi), Queency Victoire (Mauritius), Diana Chikotesha (Zambia), Mimisen Iyorhe (Nigeria), Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco), Fanta Kone (Mali), Carine Atezambong Fomo (Cameroon), Yara Atef Said Abdelfattah (Egypt).

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be its ninth edition in which the women’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA will contest in the quadrennial international football championship.

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