Malawi’s female Fifa assistant referee Bernadetta Kwimbira-Nzika will today set another milestone when she will be part of the first African trio to officiate a quarter-final match at the Olympics Women Football Tournament in Japan.
The Malawian will be first assistant referee in the last-eight encounter between Team Great Britain and hosts Japan. Rwandan Salima Mukansanga will be the centre referee while Kenyan Mary Njoroge will be second assistant. Brazilian Alves Edina will be the fourth official.
This will be the trio’s third game at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after the opening match between Great Britain and Chile on July 21 and a group F tie between The Netherlands and China on Wednesday.
“It feels good to continue being trusted at a prestigious tournament,” Kwimbira-Nzika said.
In January this year, the Malawian became the first woman to officiate at a Confederation of African Football (CAF) men’s senior tournament when she joined male referees in a Championship of African Nations (Chan) match between Guinea and Namibia.
During the same tournament, she set another milestone when, alongside Nigerian Mimisen Lyorhe and Ethiopian centre referee Lyda Tafesse Adebelem, formed the first all-female officiating panel for the match between Namibia and Tanzania.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka yesterday described Kwimbira-Nzika as a shining star that continues to make Malawi proud.
“She has continuously put Malawi on the map. If you remember Kwimbira-Nzika was also among the first females to officiate an African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in November 2019 alongside Ishmael Chizinga in a match between Libya and Tanzania,” he said.
Kwimbira-Nzika’s enviable record includes officiating at the 2015 and 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup, 2016 Olympics, Women’s senior Afcon, Women’s Under-20 World Cup and Youth Olympic Games.
set on their groups ahead of the jamboree that will be played from January 9 to February 6.
It is worth recalling that the competition was initially scheduled to take place in June 202, but was postponed due to the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.—www.journalducameroun.com/en