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Rwanda’s Mukansanga becomes first woman to referee AFCON match

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History was made in the Africa Cup of Nations when Zimbabwe defeated Guinea 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon, as the officiating crew was made up of four women.

Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda was the head referee and was assisted by Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco) and and Carine Atemzabong (Cameroon), as well as Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco) in the VAR.

“We’ll show the world we can do something,” Mukansanga said in an interview with ESPN prior to the tournament.

“We can show that we can referee a man’s game at a tough level and succeed. The Laws of the Game are the same, we’re now using VAR, it’s the same as the World Cup, the Olympics, and it’s a great opportunity for me and for other women.

“I want other women to support me, other woman referees and women all over the world, because we can do something.”

Mukansanga already made history in the tournament by becoming the first woman to officiate a match in AFCON when she was the fourth official in the game between Guinea and Malawi on January 10.

“We are super proud of Salima because she has had to work exceptionally hard to be where she is today,” CAF’s refereeing chief Eddy Maillet said.

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“We know that, for a woman, she has had to overcome serious obstacles to reach this level and she deserves a lot of credit.

“This moment is not just for Salima but for every young girl in Africa who has a passion for football and who sees herself as a referee in the future.”

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