Salima Mukansanga: Female Referee Makes AFCON History

Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga on Monday became the first woman to officiate a game at the Africa Cup of Nations!

Mukansanga, 34, was the fourth official during Group B match as Guinea beat Malawi 1-0 at the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam.

Mukansanga’s milestone is a big breakthrough for Female Refereeing in Africa and an achievement for Rwanda.

Mukansanga on duty at AFCON. CAF photos

Per New Times, Mukansanga was Born and raised in Rusizi District, West Province, and holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Gitwe in Nursing and Midwifery.

She aspired to become a professional basketball player in her youth days, but it never came to fruition due to limited access to basketball infrastructure and decent coaching.

She then developed passion for football refereeing during her final year of secondary school at St Vincent de Paul Musanze before earning her first certificate in match officiating the following year.

Mukansanga has also officiated at the Olympics, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Africa Women Cup of Nations and CAF Women’s Champions League.



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