SA ref to officiate at women’s World Cup


World football governing body FIFA has released the list of match officials for the women’s World Cup from 20 July – 20 August in Australia and New Zealand.  

  A total of 33 referees, 55 assistant referees and 19 video match officials will form FIFA Team One. 

  South African referee Akhona Makalima is among the 12 African match officials appointed for the coming Women’s World Cup. 

  Makalima officiates for FIFA, the PSL, Sasol Women’s League and SAFA. She has also officiated in several FIFA and CAF tournaments. She was part of the 2022 WAFCON tournament, where Banyana were crowned Africa’s champions. 

  Makalima said the appointment is one of the greatest achievements in her career, and is looking forward to the tournament and making the country proud.

  “My heart is filled with huge excitement and gratitude. This is what we all strive for as match officials, officiating at the biggest stage. I thank all those involved in this project for a job well done,” she said.

  Makalima will represent Africa together with Vincentia Amedome of Togo, Bouchra Karboubi of Morocco and Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda, who officiated at the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar. 

  There will also be Diana Chikotesha of Zambia, Carine Atezambong from Cameroon, Fanta Kone of Mali Soukaina Hamdi and Fatiha Jermoumi of Morocco, Mary Njoroge of Kenya and Queency Victoire of Mauritania, who will be assistant referees. Adil Zourak from Mauritania will serve as a Video Match Official.

  FIFA said the officials were chosen in close cooperation with the six confederations, based on the officials’ performances delivered at FIFA tournaments, as well as other international and domestic competitions.

  For the first time the FIFA Women’s World Cup has six female video match officials. 

  Chairperson of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina said the selected on-field match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide.

  “We all remember the very successful FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France, where a high standard of refereeing contributed to the success. The aim for the coming World Cup is to repeat that success and convince again with excellent referees’ performances,” Collina said.

  FIFA’s head of Women Refereeing, Kari Seitz said match officials would continue to receive all the support from FIFA, as their preparation is paramount.

  “With time lost due to the pandemic in preparation for the Women’s World Cup we developed new programmes to accelerate our referee development, such as the Tracking and Support programme, where each referee candidate was assigned a FIFA coach who provided feedback on their matches,” Seitz said.

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