Qatar: Rwandan among three women referees to officiate at World Cup for first time

Francis Akhalbey May 20, 2022
Rwanda's Salima Mukansanga has been selected to officiate matches at the 2022 Qatar men's World Cup -- Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Rwandan female referee Salima Mukansanga has been selected alongside two other women to officiate matches at this year’s FIFA men’s World Cup in Qatar. This is the first time such a thing will happen in the tournament’s history, BBC reported.

The two other female referees include France‘s Stephanie Frappart and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita. Three other female assistant referees will support the trio.

Mukansanga also made history at the 2022 men’s Africa Cup of Nations after she became the first woman to officiate a match. The 33-year-old decided to become a referee 15 years ago even though she had wanted to become a professional basketball player while in her teens. She has officiated many matches in Rwanda since 2018 and officiating at AFCON was certainly one of her best moments.

Before AFCON, she had been in charge of matches at the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations and the CAF Women’s Champions League as well as the Women’s World Cup. She was also a referee in the women’s football event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan. 

Taylor, on the other hand, took charge of the Euro 2020 match between Denmark and Finland. She was applauded for her swift reaction in ensuring Denmark’s Christian Eriksen was given swift medical attention after he suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the pitch.

Thirty-six referees have been selected to officiate matches at this year’s FIFA men’s World Cup in Qatar. They will be supported by 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials.

“As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’ and the selected match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide,” the chairman of Fifa’s referees committee, Pierluigi Collina, said.

“This concludes a long process that began several years ago with the deployment of female referees at Fifa men’s junior and senior tournaments.

“In this way, we clearly emphasise it is quality that counts for us and not gender.

“I would hope that in the future, the selection of elite women’s match officials for important men’s competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational.”

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will kick off on November 21.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 20, 2022


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