17 Africans selected to officiate at 2022 FIFA World Cup

Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda in action as she becomes the first woman to referee a match at the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations during the Group B Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 match between Zimbabwe and Guinea at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde on January 18, 2022. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda in action as she becomes the first woman to referee a match at the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations during the Group B Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 match between Zimbabwe and Guinea at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde on January 18, 2022. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

FIFA has selected 17 Africans to officiate at the 2022 FIFA World Cup scheduled to be played in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.

Among the 17, six will serve in the capacity of center referees, while nine will be assistant referees and two will be deployed in the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) duties.

Worth noting, Rwandese female match official, Salima Mukansanga, is once again on the path to writing history having made it to the list of center referees.

Mukansanga was also the first female referee to officiate a match at the Africa Cup of Nations in the edition played in Cameroon in January-February.

The other five center referees from Africa are; Bakary Gassama (Gambia), Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria), Victor Gomes (South Africa), Maguette N’Diaye (Senegal) and Janny Sikazwe (Zambia).

The nine African officials that have been selected to serve as assistant referees are; Mahmoud Abouelregal (Egypt), Djibril Camara (Senegal), El Hadji Samba (Senegal), Jerson Dos Santos (Angola), Abdelhak Etchiali (Algeria), Mokrane Gourari (Algeria), Arsenio Marengule (Mozabique), Elvis Noupue (Cameroon) and Zakhele Siwela (South Africa).

Those that have been assigned to the VAR are; Rédouane Jiyed (Morocco) and Adil Zourak (Morocco).

A total of 36 center referees will officiate at the Qatar World Cup, while 69 assistant referees and 24 VAR officials will also be deployed.

While unveiling the identities of the officials, the FIFA Referees Committee said the selections were based on their quality and the performances delivered at FIFA tournaments as well as at other international and domestic competitions in recent years.

“As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’ and the selected match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide,” said the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina.

“The 2018 World Cup was very successful, partly because of the high standard of refereeing, and we will do our best to be even better in a few months in Qatar.”

The selected match officials will take part in seminars in early summer as part of their preparations for the global showdown.