Caf has broken new ground by including women referees for the first time to handle men’s tournament, beginning with 2019 U17 African Cup of Nations in Tanzania.
The historic appointment of the three women referees for Tanzania 2019 was made at the Caf Referees Committee meeting held recently in Cairo.
The women trio of Tanzania referee Jonesia Rukyaa Kabakama, Kenya’s Mary Wanjiru Njoroge and Madagascar’s Lidwine Rakotozafinoro were among 29-match officials listed for the U17 Afcon.
For the first time, women referees will officiate at a men's tournament, @Total U-17 AFCON Tanzania 2019.The trail blazers are Jonesia Kabakama ??,
Mary Njoroge ?? & Lidwine Rakotozafinoro??.They will take part in a training course from 31 March to April in Morocco #TotalAFCONU17 pic.twitter.com/HRwznbnuvd
— Total Women's Africa Cup of Nations (@CAF_AWCON) March 11, 2019
In a statement released on Monday, Caf said: “The historic decision is a testament to CAF’s commitment to developing the women’s football.
“It will also give women match officials a bigger platform to expose their talents and also gain experience at the competitive level considering the limited matches and competitions, which often affects their progress and development.”
The 29 referees will attend a training course ahead of preparation for the tournament in Morocco scheduled to be held from March 31 to April 4 in Morocco.
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.
The eight team competing are Nigeria, Angola, Uganda, Guinea, Cameroon, Morocco, Senegal and host Tanzania, with the semi-finalists to represent Africa at the 2020 Fifa U17 World Cup.