Moroccan referee Bouchra Karboubi was the woman at the centre for the game between Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau. Although the football and the players on the pitch were the main attraction, Karboubi’s achievement of officiating in the male AFCON was quite significant- one for the history books.
Although there were a questionable calls, Karboubi had a decent game on the night.
In this article, Soccernet.ng reveals some interesting facts about Karboubi.
1. Karboubi is the first Arab woman to officiate at the male Africa Cup of Nations. This achievement comes after she became the first woman to officiate in the Moroccan top-flight in 2020.
2. Although there are just six female referees of the 68 match officials at the 2023 AFCON, Karboubi is the only female centre referee.
3. Karboubi is the second woman to officiate in an AFCON game. The first woman to officiate in an AFCON game was Rwanda’s Salma Mukansanga in 2021.
4. Prior to the AFCON, Karboubi served as a police officer. She has combined working as a police officer and a referee for years.
5. Four days before the AFCON, Karboubi received the prestigious Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Prize for Sports Creativity Dubai, marking its twelfth edition.
She was honored as the “Best Arab Football Referee” in acknowledgment of her leadership and outstanding performance in directing international matches at high-level competitions.