Female Referee, Bouchra Karboubi has been hailed for her performance during the Nigeria Vs Guinea-Bissau 2023 Africa Cup Of Nations clash on Monday, January 22, 2024.
Bouchra became the first female center referee at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 tournament in Ivory Coast when she, alongside three female referees, officiated the match between Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau.
The game ended with a slim victory for Jose Peseiro tutored Super Eagles of Nigeria, with an own goal from Guinea-Bissau’s Opa Sangante settling the contest.
Karboubi, along with assistant referees Jalal Jaid and Samir Kazzaz, all of Moroccan roots, presided over the match at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
The Moroccan referee’s performance received widespread applause from fans of both countries, neutrals and pundits setting a positive example for other female African referees.
As the only women’s center referee at AFCON 2023 in Cote d’Ivoire, Karboubi’s achievement opens doors for more female referees in the region.
Karboubi had previously broken gender barriers in Moroccan football in 2020 when she became the first woman to referee a match in Morocco’s top-tier men’s professional league. Her participation in AFCON 2023 marked another significant milestone in her career.
During the match, Karboubi issued three yellow cards, demonstrating her authoritative officiating style.
She showcased excellent communication with players and the Video Assistant Referees (VAR), making crucial decisions, including disallowing goals for offside and fouls in the build-up to ensure a hitch-free game.
Growing up as the youngest of five siblings in Taza, Karboubi initially pursued her passion for football as a player in the youth category before making history as a trailblazing referee.