For the first time since its inception in 2006, the African Cup of Nations Beach Soccer has seen a woman lead a match of this pan-African tournament. Burundian Cynthia Ishimwe was at the center of the group match between Senegal and Madagascar.
The AFCON Beach Soccer match between Senegal and Madagascar on Monday, October 24 was marked by a novelty: it was indeed refereed by a woman, namely the Burundian Cynthia Ishimwe. A first in the history of an African Cup of Nations of the discipline.
On its official website, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has paid tribute to Cynthia Ishimwe, while emphasizing the importance of this moment "This moment is an important step for the development of women referees in Africa and follows another historic achievement earlier this year at the Africa Cup of Nations TotalEnergies when Salima Mukansanga led the first team of women referees of the largest sporting event in Africa, "said the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
For her part, the Burundian official was furthermore delighted to have received such an honor. "When I learned that I was going to officiate at the CAN Beach, I could not hide my enthusiasm. It is an immense privilege to be chosen for the final phase of an African Cup of Nations and this adventure has been nothing but enriching. Moreover, I am surrounded by experienced referees who do not hesitate to share their knowledge. They push me to improve and to give the best of myself. I feel totally integrated and the atmosphere is very good within the group," she told the CAF website.