Salima Mukansanga will become the first African female referee to officiate in the Men’s World Cup 

Oladimeji Adeoye

Oladimeji Adeoye

Rwanda Salima Mukansanga is one of the three women referees selected by FIFA to officiate in the Men’s FIFA World Cup, slated to begin this year in Qatar. She was appointed along Stephanie Frappart from France, and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan. This will be the first time in the men’s World Cup since 92-years that female officials will be used.

The 35-year-old made history in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Cup hosted in Cameroon this year, becoming the first female referee to officiate an AFCON game. Salima Mukansanga was the fourth official in a game between Guinea and Malawi. On January 18, she refereed the group stage match between Zimbabwe and Guinea, which ended 2-1 in Zimbabwe’s favour.

Salima Mukansanga tosses a coin before the commencement of a game at the 2021 AFCON.

FIFA, in their announcement today, said a total of six female referees have been appointed from the thirty-six referees shortlisted. The three aforementioned will make their debut as central referees, while others will play the assistant role.

FIFA also announced that Salima Mukansanga and all other referees appointed for the pool of officials at the World Cup will be put through a rigid physical training program.

Pierluigi Collina, the chairman of the FIFA referees committee, said:

“This concludes a long process that began several years ago with the deployment of female referees at FIFA men’s junior and senior tournaments,”

“In this way, we clearly emphasize that it is quality that counts for us and not gender.”

A total of six central referees, ten assistant referees and two Video assistant referees were appointed from Africa for the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup.


Bakary Gassama

Mustapha Ghorbal

Victor Gomes

Salima Mukansanga

Maguette Ndiaye

Janny Sikazwe


Assistant Referees:

Mahmoud Abouelregal

Djibril Camara

Jerson Dos Santos

Abdelhak Etchiali

Mokrane Gourari

Arsenio Marengule

Elvis Noupue

Souru Phatsoane

El Hadji Samba

Siwela Zakhele


Video Match Officials:

Redouane Jiyed

Adil Zourak

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