Female referees ready for more history at TotalEnergies CHAN 2022
For the second TotalEnergies CHAN edition in a row, three female referees have been integrated into the match officials list in Algeria as CAF continues to embrace their growth especially in recent years.
Center referee Vincentia E. Amedone from Togo as well as Cameroon’s Carine Atezambong and Diane Chikotesha of Zambia will be continuing this new tradition of female referees in men’s competitions across the continent and worldover.
Atezambong shared her excitement with CAFOnline saying:
“It is the second time that I have participated in the competition, and I must admit that each opportunity represents a new challenge for me and an opportunity to give the best of myself.”
“The opportunity that CAF offers to women referees in men’s competitions simply means that it wants to get results from us. This is not about Carine Atezambong but about the young girls from all corners of Africa watching several women seize an opportunity on the big stage.”
Atezambong, who has a Masters Degree in Management and is also a certified teacher of Physical Education and Sports working at the Cameroon Ministry of Sport as Head of Office for the Monitoring and Organization of High Level sporting events, says that her day job helps her in the officiating of football.
The very light-spirited Atezambong who was at the CHAN 2020 edition before making it to the AFCON 2021 lineup – both competitions in Cameroon will now officiate her first senior men’s major competition outside of her home country in Algeria.
At the AFCON, she was joined by Rwandan center referee Salima Mukansanga who became the first woman referee to officiate at the AFCON in its 65-year history when she took charge of the Zimbabwe and Guinea game in Yaounde.
“We have several upcoming and promising referees. CHAN is a global competition and a great platform for our match officials”Désiré Noumandiez Doué
The Moroccan pair of Jermoumi Fatiha (assistant referee) and Bouchra Karboubi (Video Assistant Referee) also officiated at Africa’s premier competition.
“With CAF and FIFA appointing us for the CHAN 2020, AFCON 2021, FIFA World Cup 2022 and now CHAN 2022, it indicates that it is not just about having women but that they get results from the refereeing team. I am therefore focused on working with my team to deliver a good performance for the growth of the profession and the women who are part of it,”Atezambong added.
The quartet of center referee Lydia Tafesse Abebe (Ethiopia) as well as assistant referees Bernadetta Kwimbira (Malawi), Mimisen Lyorhe (Nigeria) and Carine Atezambong Fomo (Cameroon) were the first women to be appointed for a major men’s senior competition on the continent when they officiated at the CHAN 2020 in Cameroon.
CAF Head of Refereeing Désiré Noumandiez Doué said earlier that:
“For this competition, we have combined experience with youth. We have several upcoming and promising referees. CHAN is a global competition and a great platform for our match officials.”
“As we start a new World Cup cycle, this gives us an opportunity to build. We have AFCON – both men and women in 2024 and a number of competitions under this cycle. I am particularly pleased to see more women joining the bigger group.”
Amedome, Mukansanga, Karboubi and South Africa’s Akhona Makalima have been appointed for this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as center referees.
They will be joined by seven assistant referees including Atezambong, Chikotesha, Fanta Kone from Mali, Kenya’s Mary Njoroge, Morocco’s Jermoumi and Soukaina Hamdi as well as Victoire Queency (Mauritius).
For Atezambong, everyday is an opportunity to do a great job and to continue gaining experience and in Algeria, she alongside her colleagues Amedone and Chikotesha are excited to deliver.