The female referees, including two from Morocco, stormed the African Cup of Nations currently taking place in Cameroon.
For too long, women have been excluded from the world of refereeing and have often been ‘expected’ to only take charge of women’s matches. However, their presence in one of the most prestigious competitions on the continent breaks the codes and marks a turning point for the future of refereeing.
For the first time in the history of the African competition, a 100% female referee body led the Zimbabwe-Guinea match: Rwandan Salima Rhadia Mukansanga, Cameroonian Carine Atemzabong and Moroccans Fatiha Jermoumi and Bouchra Karboubi.
On the front of the stage, Salima Rhadia Mukansanga, who became the first woman to referee an African Cup match on Tuesday, announced the Confederation of African Football CAF. She was accompanied by an all-female referee trio.
The tournament in Cameroon is the latest step in the rise of Mukansanga, who was the fourth official in Guinea’s 1-0 win over Malawi on Monday, and took the reins as central referee later in the game. the week.
A moment of pride for CAF
The 33-year-old Rwandan official has featured in matches at the Tokyo Olympics and the Women’s World Cup in France, and now sees the Nations Cup as an opportunity to prove there should be no barriers for women. women referees in men’s football.
“This is the first time that an all-female team has refereed a CAN match,” CAF said in a statement posted on its official website.
“Proud moment for CAF and Africa as the quartet makes history” , writes the African authority.
“Aged 35, Mukansanga is part of the quartet selected as referees during the match. This is the first time that an all-female team has refereed a match at the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations since the competition’s inception.”, notes CAF.
Cameroonian Carine Atemzabong and Moroccan Fatiha Jermoumi assisted Mukansanga, and the video referee was none other than Moroccan Bouchra Karboubi.
Two Moroccan referees at the CAN
The two Moroccan referees Fatiha Jermoumi and Bouchra Karboubi distinguished themselves by becoming the first two women to participate in refereeing in the history of the men’s tournament.
Jermoumi had been appointed assistant referee on the ground, with her fellow citizens Samir Brinsi (assistant) and Samir Guezzzaz at the VAR, where Karboubi is expected during the next meetings.
Contacted by MoroccoLatestNews UK, Mounir Mabrouk, former Moroccan international referee expressed his pride in being represented by two Moroccan referees of this caliber.
“It is a source of pride for all the Moroccan people and this appointment is a turning point for African sport at the continental level, which shows great openness and diversity, which football needed”, he told us.
According to him, Bouchra Karboubi and Fatiha Jermoumi have the legitimacy to find themselves on the front of the stage. “These are two referees who do a remarkable job and who are well rated, they deserve to be there”, he believes.
With the spread of the coronavirus and the contamination of many referees, Mabrouk is confident that the two young women will be called upon to take on more responsibility during the next matches of the competition.
A complete CV
The Moroccan female duo have already distinguished themselves in arbitration at national and international level, which earned them, in November 2020, to be chosen by the International Football Federation (FIFA) to officiate during the final stages of the World Cup. ladies, scheduled for Australia and New Zealand in 2023.
Bouchra Karboubi has already entered the history of Moroccan football, after officiating a Botola Pro D1 match between Olympique club de Khouribga (OCK) and Moghreb Athlétic de Tétouan (MAT) in 2020. During the same match, Fatiha Jermoumi was one of the assistant referees.
National referee since 2007 and international since 2016, the Moroccan officiated during the 2018 women’s CAN. Definitely a pioneer, she is also the first woman in Africa to have obtained the VAR license. A real pride for the Moroccan Federation (FRMF), which is making significant efforts towards women’s football.
For her part, Fatiha Jermoumi distinguished herself during the final phase of the U23 Africa Cup of Nations, organized in Egypt.