Moses Simon’s low cross was squared into the box for Victor Osimhen but Opa Sangante blasted the ball past his goalkeeper to give Nigeria the lead against Guinea-Bissau.
Moroccan referee, Bouchra Karboubi, became the first female central referee at the AFCON 2023 tournament in Ivory Coast, as she oversaw Nigeria’s clash against Guinea-Bissau, Soccernet.ng reports.
The game ended with a victory in favour of Jose Peseiro’s men, thanks to an own goal from Guinea-Bissau’s Opa Sangante.
The 36-year-old referee was joined by Jalal Jaid and Samir Kazzaz, all of Moroccan roots and they officiated on the sidelines at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
Bouchra Karboubi shattered Moroccan football’s gender barriers in 2020 by becoming the first woman to referee a match in Morocco’s top-tier men’s professional league.
In yesterday’s game, the referee issued three yellow cards. One was for a foul by Frank Onyeka, and the other two were awarded to Calvin Bassey and Stanley Nwabali for time-wasting.
She put in a great performance as an official, recalling two goals. One was for offside, and the other was due to a foul in the build-up, and her communication with the Video Assistant referees and the players was top-notch.
Since the game yesterday evening, the Moroccan referee has been applauded by fans of both countries, and she has shown the route for other female African referees to follow.
She is the only Women’s centre referee at this year’s AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire. Growing up as the youngest of five siblings in Taza, Karboubi initially pursued her love for football as a player in the youth category.
She followed in the footsteps of Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda, who became the first woman to referee at the African Cup of Nations in 2022, leading out an all-woman officiating team of Fatiha Jermoumi, and Carine Atemzabong.
Bouchra Karboubi and Salima Mukansanga were also referees at the FIFA Women’s World Cup hosted by New Zealand and Australia in 2022.
After yesterday’s performance, will you want to see more women as referees in African Football?