Salima Mukansanga is from Rwanda and has grown to become an international football referee.
Mukansanga was one of the four women listed by CAF to officiate at the tournament.
She has been in charge of numerous matches in Rwanda since 2018 by becoming an official for Rwanda.
She revealed to NewTimes Daily that she loved basketball and wanted to take it seriously but access to basketball infrastructure and coaches was hard.
Notwithstanding, she grew up to move her attention to football. She went further to say that when she watched football, she liked to watch the one who was on the field of the play, who was making decisions, leading players, talking to players, the one who people respect on the field.
Mukansanga opted for a refereeing course in Rwanda FA but didn’t scale through on account of her age. She started to teach herself the basics of officiating by studying the games and handling local games in her country.
A year after, she was eventually an opportunity to pursue her career as a referee.
Mukansanga became a FIFA badge referee in 2012, four years after she began to handle matches in Rwanda. She served as a referee in the women’s football event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan.
In 2017, Salima officiated the world’s highest altitude football match on mount Kilimanjaro and in 2019 was named among the four African officers for the women’s World cup in France. Mukansanga is a part of the FIFA international referee list, which got her qualified to officiate at the international level, and wears a FIFA badge on her uniform.
Mukansanga’s historic feat is believed not just for her but for every young girl in Africa who has a passion for football and sees herself as a referee in the future.