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Tokyo 2020: The hijabi referee making Olympic history



Sara Gamal has a track record of achieving big things, and now the Egyptian civil engineer and basketball player-turned-referee is about to make Olympic history.

She will be the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman to referee basketball at the Games.

Not only that, but the form of basketball she’s refereeing is itself making a debut in Tokyo this July.

3×3 basketball is thought to be the world’s most-played urban team sport, which has grown out of the game played worldwide in parks and recreation areas, known as Streetball, Blacktop or Playground Ball.

It is estimated that 182 countries and more than 430,000 players worldwide play 3×3.

Sara will also be the first Arab and African woman to officiate 3×3 basketball at the Olympics.



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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