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Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga makes history as World Cup’s first-ever female ref

For the first time in the history of the men’s Fifa World Cup, a female referee Salima Mukansanga will officiate at the global soccer showcase.

Mukansanga, who hails from Rwanda, first made history when she became the first-ever woman to officiate at the men’s Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.

She will be joined by France’s Stephanie Frappart and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita. Three female assistant referees will support the trio.

The tournament is scheduled to start on Monday, 21 November, until Sunday, 12 December 2022.

36 referees, 69 assistant referees, and 24 video match officials have been chosen for this year’s tournament.

“As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’, and the selected match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide,” said the chairman of Fifa’s referees’ committee Pierluigi Collina.

“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 emphasise it is quality that counts for us and not gender.

“I would hope that in the future, the selection of elite women’s match officials for important men’s competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational.”

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