Sports News of Tuesday, 23 January 2024
Moroccan referee Bouchra Karboubi has etched her name in history as the first Arab woman to officiate a match at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.
Karboubi took on the role of the main referee in the decisive Group A encounter between Nigeria and Guinea Bissau at the Stade FÃ©lix-HouphouÃ«t-Boigny in Abidjan during the 2023 AFCON.
This historic milestone reflects the proactive approach of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) in championing the development of women’s soccer.
The FRMF has been instrumental in fostering the growth of women’s football in Morocco, evident in recent accomplishments such as the historic qualification of the U-20 national team for the 2024 World Cup.
Before the Nigeria-Guinea Bissau match, Karboubi, a police inspector, had already distinguished herself by officiating numerous soccer matches at both national and continental levels.
She previously made history as the first Moroccan woman to officiate a Throne Cup final in May 2022, where AS FAR and Moghreb de TÃ©touan contested the 2019-2020 title.
Karboubi’s officiating prowess extended to the 2023 Women’s World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand, where she showcased her skills on the international stage. Her outstanding contributions to football were further acknowledged on January 10 in Dubai, where she received the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Prize for Sports Creativity as the “Best Arab Football Referee.”
This prestigious award was a recognition of Karboubi’s leadership and performance as a professional referee, successfully directing international matches in high-level competitions.
The Nigeria-Guinea Bissau match concluded with a narrow victory for the Super Eagles, securing their second-place finish and progression to the next stage of the competition.