When Nigeria’s senior men’s national team edged their counterparts from Guinea Bissau in the last Group A encounter of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Abidjan on Monday, three women officials took charge of the game.
Moroccan female referee, Bouchra Karboubi was the centre referee for the game which saw Opa Sangante’s own goal separating both sides at the Felix Houphouet Boigny stadium, Abidjan.
She became the first Arab woman to officiate a match at the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament.
Karboubi showcased the progress of women’s soccer in Morocco, attributed to the Royal Moroccan Football Federation’s dedication to development under the visionary leadership of King Mohammed VI.
Before taking charge of the match between Nigeria and Guinea Bissau the police inspector Karboubi distinguished herself by officiating numerous soccer matches at national and continental level.
She was the first Moroccan woman to officiate a Throne Cup final, when AS FAR and Moghreb de Tétouan battled it out for the 2019-2020 title in Agadir in May 2022.
She also officiated at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20.
She was assisted by Cameroon’s Carine Atezambong as the Assistant Referee 1 while Zambia’s Diana Chikotesha served as the Assistant Referee 2.
As AFCON 2023 continues, It is hoped that more women officials will take charge of games following the footsteps of French referee, Stéphanie Frappart who became the first woman to referee a major men’s European match and a French French Ligue 1 match, both in 2019, and the first woman to officiate a UEFA Champions Leagu match in 2020.
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