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Diversity in AFCON — firs female referee makes history

AFCON (African Cup of Nations) has been the talk of the town in the world of international soccer lately. With its organizers’ innovative approach to satisfying millions of die-hard fans, AFCON is set to include a female referee in the entirety of the event, entrusting to fully officiate games.

Salima Mukasanga has been assigned to make her debut, becoming AFCON’s first woman ever to referee. Don’t get it wrong, the Rwandan native has had her history of officiating games ranging from Women’sWomen’s World Cup, Africa Women’sWomen’s Cup of Nations and the CAF Women’sWomen’s Champion’sChampion’s League.

Mukasanga is also part of the prestigious FIFA International Referees List, recently officiating the women’s football division at the Tokyo Olympics. Officiating AFCON is arguably her most significant officiating opportunity, making history in the men’s game.

AFCON has 63 match officials, four are women, but none of whom will be assigned to referee matches, unlike Mukasanga.

Without a doubt, a pivotal move made by the AFCON organizers, Mukansanga is set to open the world to female referees to take charge as equals— is undoubtedly not the last.

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