CAN 2022 – It’s a first!  A woman refereed a CAN Beach Soccer match (Senegal v Madagascar)!

CAN 2022 – It’s a first! A woman refereed a CAN Beach Soccer match (Senegal v Madagascar)!

Burundi’s Cynthia Ishimwe made history by becoming the first woman to referee a Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations match. Ishimwe was part of the referee team for the Beach Soccer Mozambique 2022 Africa Cup of Nations tie between Senegal and Madagascar in Vilankulo on Monday, October 24, 2022.

This moment is a milestone for the development of female referees in Africa and follows another historic feat achieved earlier this year at the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations when Salima Mukansanga led the first-ever team of female referees in the most major African sporting event.

Ishimwe’s rise is not accidental. Over the past 18 months, CAF has accelerated its programs to promote women referees in Africa.

CAF Head of Refereeing and Football Technology Noumandiez Doue said: “We are all proud of what Cynthia has achieved. It’s a big step in the right direction. This is an important moment as it not only opens doors for other women referees in Beach Soccer in Africa, but also sets the trend globally. »

He added: “This moment is no accident; there has been a lot of work behind the scenes to prepare referees in Africa. The workshops, training camps and mentoring program ensured that the quality was there. Today we are witnessing the positive trajectory and the emergence of quality young referees and female referees. This is thanks to the investment of CAF and FIFA in improving standards. »

For Ishimwe, CAF support and programs have prepared her for this moment. She said: “When I learned that I was going to officiate at the AFCON in Beach, I could not hide my enthusiasm. It is an immense privilege to be chosen for the final phase of an African Cup of Nations and this adventure has been nothing but rewarding. Moreover, I am surrounded by experienced referees who do not hesitate to share their knowledge. They push me to improve and give the best of myself. I feel totally integrated and the atmosphere is very good within the group. »