Malawi Elite FIFA Assistant Referee Bernadettar Kwimbira will this evening make history when she joins the first ever all women refereeing team to officiate a match at a CAF Senior Men’s tournament.
Kwimbira along side Nigeria’s Mimisen Lyorhe will be assistants to experienced Ethiopian referee Ldya Tafesse Adebele as they take charge of a Group D match between Namibia and Tanzania at the ongoing 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cameroun.
This will be Kwimbira’s second match at the tournament as she on Monday became the first ever woman to officiate at a CAF Senior Men’s tournament when she joined male referees in a Group D match between Guinea and Namibia. Abebe and Lyorhe will be making their first appearances at the tournament.
The Zomba based referee said she is excited to be part of this historic moment and has promised to work hard and repay the selectors for showing faith in her.
” I feel so much honoured to be part of this historic feat. As a team we have agreed to perform to the best of our abilities in order to open doors for fellow African Women Referees so that more can be considered for male tournaments as we have done.
“With hard work, everything is possible and this is exactly what I am going to do in today’s match because I know that I have been selected for this second match at the tournament because of my performance in the first match,” said Kwimbira.
The trio are Africa’s top female referees as Kwimbira and Abebe were part of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup panel in France while Iyorhe has joined the two on the 2023 FIFA World Cup referees’ shortlist.