Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga, Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita, and France’s Stephanie Frappart made history in Qatar as the first women to referee a men’s World Cup.
Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga, who made history as the first African female to be appointed for a men’s World Cup, will be heading to her second World Cup in Australia and New Zealand following her performance in Qatar.
The list of match officials selected for the Women’s World Cup has 33 referees, 55 assistant referees, and 19 Video Match Officials (VMOs), FIFA announced in a statement on Monday.
Mukansanga first made her World Cup debut in 2019, when she officiated the Women’s World Cup in France as the first female referee, and earlier last year when she became the first female centre referee to officiate the African Cup of Nations.
The full list of referees has 3 other African women, including highly experienced Vincentia Enyonam Amedome of Togo, Morocco’s Bouchra Karboubi, and Akhona Makalima of South Africa.
For the first time in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, six female VMOs have also been selected. They will join other 29 officials from other continents of the world to officiate matches.
FIFA stated that the match officials chosen represent the “highest level of women’s refereeing worldwide,” and that they will attend various seminars before the tournament begins.
“As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’ and the selected on-field match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide,” Pierluigi Collina, chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee said in Monday’s press release.
“We all remember the very successful FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France. The high standard of refereeing contributed significantly to that success. The aim for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 is to repeat that success and to convince again with excellent referees’ performances, ” Collinaa added.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup will be hosted jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20, 2023.
The tournament will be the first FIFA Women’s World Cup with more than one host nation, as well as the first senior World Cup of either gender to be held across multiple confederations since Australia belongs to the Asian Confederation and New Zealand to the Oceania Confederation.
This tournament will also be the first to use the expanded format of 32 teams, up from the previous 24 teams, mirroring the format used for the men’s World Cup.
The first match will be played on July 20, 2023, at Eden Park in Auckland between New Zealand and Norway.
The United States are the defending champions, having won the previous two tournaments.