Dar es Salaam. Three women referees will, for the first time, officiate at a men’s football tournament in Africa in Tanzania, next month.
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has broken new ground by including women referees for the first time to handle the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations, which starts on April 14 at the National Stadium.
The historic appointment of the three women referees for Tanzania 2019 was made at the Caf Referees Committee meeting held recently in Cairo, Egypt.
The women trio of Tanzania referee Jonesia Kabakama, Kenya’s Mary Njoroge and Madagascar’s Lidwine Rakotozafinoro were among 29-match officials listed for the U17 Afcon.
“The historic decision is a testament to Caf’s commitment to developing the women’s football,” Caf said in a statement earlier this week.
“It will also give women match officials a bigger platform to expose their talent and gain experience at the competitive level, considering the limited matches and competitions, which often affects their progress and development,” the statement reads.
The 29 referees will attend a training course in Morocco from March 31 to April 4 ahead of the tournament.
During the course, 15 referees and 14 assistant referees from 25 countries will undergo a medical, physical and theoretical test for the final tournament scheduled for April 14-28 in Tanzania.
Eight countries will compete in the finals. The countries are Nigeria, Angola, Uganda, Guinea, Cameroon, Morocco, Senegal and hosts Tanzania.
The semi-finalists will represent Africa at the 2020 Fifa U17 World Cup.