The Referees Committee of the Confederation of Africa Football has named three female referees who will officiate the Total U-23 Africa Cup of Nations.
The trio are center referee Salma Mukasanga from Rwanda and assistant referees Diana Chikotesha from Zambia and Fathia Jermoumi of Morocco.
Their appointment is in line with CAF’s dedication and quest to increase and include more female officials in its competitions.
This comes after Jonesia Rukyaa Kabakama, Mary Wanjiru Njoroge and Lidwine Rakotozafinoro were selected among 29-match officials listed for the U17 Afcon which was honored in Tanzania 2019.
Head of CAF Refereeing, Eddy Maillet is pleased one of the top female referees has been listed. According to her,
“With the U-23 AFCON serving as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games it will be very competitive, so having Salma Mukasanga, one of our top referees, who of late officiated at last summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, is a tremendous advantage for CAF.
She will be supported at the U-23 AFCON by two equally skilled experts, Fathia Jermouni and Diana Chikotesha”.
Salma Mukasanga started her refereeing career in 2007 before gaining her FIFA referee status in 2012.
She has officiated major tournaments, including 2019 Women’s World Cup, 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, 2015 All African Games. Diana Chikotesha and Fathia Jermouni officiated in Ghana during AWCON 2019.
The wind of change of female referees officiating male games have been blowing around the globe as Stephanie Frappart Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O’Neal setting the record as the first females to officiate a major UEFA match.
This year’s U-23 tournament will be held in Egypt from Friday November 8 to Friday November 22. Egypt, Cameroon, Ghana and Mali are housed in Group A while Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia battle it out in Group B. Nigeria are the defending champions.