Mukansanga, is First African Female Referee

By Victoria Taiwo

Thirty-Four year old, Salima Mukansanga, and a woman from Rwanda has made history in Qatar as the First African Female to Officiate Men’s World Cup, 2022.

Mukansanga officially recognised as an international FIFA referee since 2012, was an official at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

Mukansanga was the fourth referee of the game which was handled by South Africa’s Victor Gomes, the centre referee, assisted by fellow countrymen Zakhele Siwela and Lesothian Souru Phatsoane.

However, Mukansanga had never imagined this achievement but found herself on the final list of the 36 match referees that FIFA announced to officiate the Qatar World Cup.

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Meanwhile, Mukansanga will be joined in Qatar by France’s Frappart and Japan’s Yamashita, as well as assistant referee Neuza Back from Brazil, Karen Diaz Medina from Mexico and Kathryn Nesbitt from the United States.

She officiated at last year’s 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo and became the first female to be in charge of a match at the men’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Mukansanga who has been into sports since she was young, and started refereeing since she was in secondary school, was a fast learning curve naturally.

She is a fast learner, and a determined cum focused woman who taught herself FIFA’s laws of the game with her hard grit rewarded when she was finally given an opportunity to study.

Mukansanga is also very passionate about her dreams and work towards becoming a better person hence, she has also embraced the challenges that come with the job with the right mental and social attitude.


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