Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga is one of the female match officials appointed as FIFA announced women referees would officiate at a men’s World Cup finals for the first time at the Qatar World Cup.
Mukansanga had already made history when she became the first-ever woman to officiate at the men’s Africa Cup of Nations in January.
She is one of three female referees appointed by FIFA for Qatar and will also include France’s Stephanie Frappart and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita among the 36 match referees.
Brazil’s Neuza Back, Mexico’s Karen Diaz Medina and American Kathryn Nesbitt have been included in the 69 assistant referees.
“We are very happy that … we have been able to call up female match officials for the first time in a FIFA World Cup history,” said FIFA Referees Committee chairman 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 that quality 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.”
For the finals, all match officials will participate in seminars in Asuncion, Madrid and Doha in early summer.