Rwandan referee Salma Mukansanga made history in Qatar after she became the first African woman to officiate a men’s World Cup in France 4-1 triumph over Australia in the Group D opener on Tuesday, November 22, at Al Janoub Stadium in Al-Wakrah, in Qatar.

The popular Mukansaga, 34, was the fourth official assisting South Africa’s Victor Gomes, the centre referee, Zakhele Siwela and Lothian Souru Phatsoane.

Mukansanga is among three female referees selected for the first time for a men’s FIFA World Cup alongside Japanese Yamashita Yoshimi and French Stephanie Frappart.

Mukansanga made history at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations when she was appointed as the center Referee for the game involving Zimbabwe and Guinea.

“I’m excited, and this is a privilege for me. I had never dreamed to go to the men’s World Cup,” Mukansanga told FIFA.com after her appointment.

“The first time I was nominated for World Cup was in France for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, so my next target was more at the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand in 2023.

“Being appointed to the Men’s World Cup is something new, another opportunity we get. It means FIFA recognises that women are working hard, that we are providing quality refereeing and that we can deliver and reach higher, up to the top of the men’s game.”

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