Six (6) African referees have been selected as match officials for the FIFA World Cup to be hosted in Qatar later this year.
The FIFA Referees Committee released the list of the match officials on Thursday including assistant and video match officials (VMO).
A FIFA statement said a total of 36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials (VMOs) have been chosen in close cooperation with the six confederations, based on their quality and the performances delivered at FIFA tournaments as well as at other international and domestic competitions in recent years.
The African referees selected include Gassama Bakary (Gambia), Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda), Ghorbal Mustapha( Algeria), Victor Gomes (South Africa) Maguette Ndiaye (Senegal) and Janny Sikazwe (Zambia).
Mukansanga becomes the first African female referee to officiate at the men’s top football event. She was also the first female referee at the AFCON 2022.
Sikazwe had an AFCON tournament to forget in Cameroon when he ended the game three times all before the 85th minute when Tunisia played Mali in the group stages.
A heat stroke was later blamed for the mishap.
Gassama has also been on the receiving end of some attacks from Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi following their defeat to Cameroon in the 2022 World Cup play-offs.
The selected match officials will participate in early summer in several seminars (Asunción, Madrid and Doha), reviewing and analysing video clips of real match situations, and taking part in practical training sessions with players, which will be filmed to enable participants to receive instant feedback from the instructors.