Two Nigerians — Patience Madu and Agatha Iyorhe — are among the 40 match officials selected for the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The continental football governing body on Friday revealed on its website the list of officials for the tournament scheduled for July 2 and July 23 in Rabat and Casablanca.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while Madu is on the list of referees, Iyorhe is on the list of assistant referees.
The list comprises 16 referees, 16 assistant referees and eight Video Assistant Referees (VARs).
The referees are from 24 countries, with five of the overall 40 from Morocco, four from Egypt and three from Mauritius.
The officials have been selected after a rigorous process which started a few years ago with 226 women who were evaluated over this period.
Rwandan Salima Mukansanga made history at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon in January by becoming the first woman to referee a match at the competition.
She was recently selected as the only woman referee from Africa to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
She now headlines the list of referees for the 12th WAFCON, alongside Bouchkra Karboubi (Morocco) and Carine Atezambong (Cameroon) who were all part of that historic game in Cameroon.
Speaking on the selection, CAF Director of Refereeing, Eddy Maillet, said: “Africa has made serious leaps in the development of women match officials.
“This final list comprises of currently the best in the continent. It took us a long time to get here. The several workshops and training camps we held assisted us in getting to the final decision.
“It was essential for us to bet on top quality, refereeing being one of the main priorities of CAF.
“And to fine-tune the last details, we are organising a preparation course for all the referees of the competition, starting from June 25 in Rabat.”
The training and development of the referees included practical sessions in matches.
NAN reports that the opening match of the 12th WAFCON tagged “Morocco 2022” will feature hosts Morocco and debutants Burkina Faso on July 2 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Complex in Rabat.