The pioneer referee of the African continent is ready to once again inspire the world with her professionalism. The young referee of Rwandan nationality will celebrate her 35th birthday on July 25, 2023, in this World Cup between Australia and New Zealand, where she will be at the whistle of her second FIFA Women’s World Cup after that of Paris 2019.
Salima discovered by the general public 4 years ago in Paris during the Women’s World Cup is also very happy at the idea of finding herself in a Women’s Football World Cup.
“I’m very excited because it’s my World Cup. In Qatar it was a very big World Cup, but the Women’s World Cup is my place, without any restrictions. In the Women’s World Cup, that’s where we belong. In the Men’s World Cup, we had about three female referees.”
The Rwandan referee present at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 has the reputation of being one of the few women to have officiated matches of the Men’s World Cup and the Women’s World Cup without forgetting the Olympic games.
Salima is convinced that the level of the two world competitions is exciting.
“The level of competition and the level of football are different, but all the players play football and the refereeing is the same. The laws of the game are the same. I participated in the Women’s World Cup in France in 2019, but now it’s different, there are two countries, Australia and New Zealand, and there are huge expectations, I’ve never been there, so I expect something new, to see better football. It will be a very big competition where we will see something new, something different, something better.” Says Salima Mukansanga.
Once she was signed, she never looked back, impressive and above all dynamic, she etched her name in the annals of football history.
During the recent African Cup of Nations in Cameroon, Salima Mukansanga who is also a nurse, became the first woman to referee an African men’s competition, leading an all-female team of referees.
With her experience as an international referee, Salima Mukansanga has spearheaded change, taking it upon herself to inspire the next generation of exceptional referees in Africa, especially among women.