Bouchra Karboubi’s proud AFCON Woman referee

Edwin  - CEO January 26, 2024
Updated 2024/01/26 at 4:20 PM
3 Min Read
Bouchra Karboubi Nigeria vs Guinea Bissau AFCON 2023
Bouchra Karboubi Nigeria vs Guinea Bissau AFCON 2023

‘It was an honor to represent women referees in Africa’

Bouchra Karboubi


After brilliantly taking charge of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 final Group A match between Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria, Bouchra Karboubi made history by joining Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga, who was the woman to officiate a TotalEnergies CAF AFCON match in Cameroon three years ago.


Speaking to CAFOnline on Thursday, 25 January, the Moroccan international shares her unique experience of officiating at Africa’s biggest football event.


How did it feel to be the first woman to referee a match in this competition?

Refereeing this match was an honor for me. During the last AFCON, I was the first woman to do VAR. I was in the final, and at this AFCON, I am a central referee. It was a pride for me to represent African women and to represent refereeing in Africa.


What was your reaction after knowing that you were designated for this meeting?


When I found out, the emotion was enormous. I was happy. I’m not saying there was no stress, but the stress stopped as soon as we kicked off. So, it was a pride for me to represent African women in general.


Can you tell us about your match?


The Guinea-Bissau – Nigeria match was a severe challenge for me. We had to show that we were here, the first women’s referee trio. So, we had no room for error because we did our best to live up to the trust that CAF placed in us.


What did you take from this achievement?


We indeed got congratulated everywhere. We were delighted, especially with the three women, for showing that we could be there and have the same competitiveness as the men. It wasn’t easy, but we were able to show that we could be there and do it.


Is your appointment proof that the CAF Referees Division is doing good work to develop women’s refereeing in Africa?


Indeed, the CAF refereeing division is doing an excellent job of developing women’s refereeing in Africa. The fact that we are here, that we are officiating such matches, shows the fruit of the work that they are doing.


What if you had a message for young girls who look at this and are amazed?


I will tell young girls with a passion and a goal to work never to give up because each path has its challenges, and we must not give up. We must continue, and with the grace of God, we can get where we want to go.


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