Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga made history in Qatar as she became the first Female African Referee to officiate in a Men’s FIFA World Cup.
Mukansanga was the fourth official in a Group D match where defending Champions France beat Australia 4-1 on Tuesday.
“It was very exciting, and this is a privilege for me. I had never dreamed to go to the men’s World Cup,” Mukansanga told fifa.com.
“The first time I was nominated to go to a World Cup, was in France for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, so my next target was more at the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand in 2023.”
The 34-year-old, first hit the headlines in January 2022, when she became the first woman to officiate at the men’s Africa Cup of Nations in history, in the game involving Zimbabwe and Guinea.
“Being appointed to the Men’s World Cup is something new, another opportunity we get. It means FIFA recognises that women are working hard, that we are providing quality refereeing and that we can deliver and reach higher, up to the top of the men’s game,” she added.
With less than a quarter of games played in Qatar, it’s a huge possibility the experienced official will get even more chances to showcase her trade.