AFCON 2023-Bouchra Karboubi: “proud to represent African women and African refereeing”.
Bouchra Karboubi has become the second woman to officiate an African Cup match after Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda. The Moroccan woman brilliantly officiated the match between Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau on Matchday 3 of Pool A. In an interview with Cafonline, she looks back on this wonderful experience.
Women referees are out in force at AFCON 2023.Six women referees have been selected for the 34th edition, including just one central referee, Bouchra Karboubi. The latter was in charge of the match between Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau on Matchday 3 of Pool A. She thus becomes the second woman to referee a AFCON finals match, after Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga at AFCON 2021. “It was an honor for me to referee this match, and it was a huge thrill to be refereeing the match for the first time. During the last AFCON, I was the first woman to do VAR, I was at the final and on this AFCON, I’m a central referee, it was a pride for me to represent the African woman and to represent African refereeing”, exclaimed the Moroccan to Cafonline.
Bouchra Karboubi was ecstatic when she found out she had been selected for Guinea-Bissau-Nigeria. I’m not saying there was any stress, but the stress stops as soon as you kick off.So it was a source of pride for me to represent African women in general.”
Despite the stress, the Moroccan woman was up to the task. “The Guinea Bissau-Nigeria match was a challenge for me. We had to show that we were there, the first women’s refereeing trio. So we had no right to make a mistake, because we did our best to live up to the trust placed in us by our committee”.She continues:“We were very happy, especially the three women, to have been able to show that we can be there and that we can be just as competitive as the men.It wasn’t easy, but we were able to show that we can be there and that we can do it.”
Bouchra Karboubi believes that women’s refereeing is booming in Africa, thanks in particular to the remarkable work of the CAF.“The CAF Refereeing Committee is certainly doing an excellent job in developing women’s refereeing in Africa. The fact that we’re here, that we’re playing this match, shows the fruit of the work they’re doing.”