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African female referees take centre stage at Women’s World Cup



Three African match officials will make history this Friday when they oversee the Women’s World Cup clash between Philippines and Switzerland in New Zealand.

41-year-old referee Vincentia Amedome of Togo has been selected to take charge of the contest at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

Amedome became the second woman to officiate a match at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria last year, after Ethiopian trailblazer Lydia Tafesse.

The appointment made her the first Togolese referee at the continent’s biennial men’s football tournament.

2022 proved a landmark year for the West African, who officiated at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco, the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, and the CAF Women’s Champions League final.


For support on Friday, Amedome can rely on assistant referees Carine Fomo of Cameroon and Fanta Kone from Mali – who also make history as the first women from their nations to feature at the Women’s World Cup.

Their trailblazing appointments highlight the progress of Africa’s female refereeing talent on the global stage.

With all three officials boasting extensive experience at major tournaments, they have earned the opportunity to demonstrate their skills before a worldwide audience.

For Amedome, Fomo and Kone, the chance to inspire future generations of female referees across Africa by officiating at the pinnacle of the women’s game represents a career highlight.



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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