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HomeFIFAPioneering FIFA World Cup referee abused; Rwanda's football issues investigation

Pioneering FIFA World Cup referee abused; Rwanda’s football issues investigation

Rwanda’s football federation has launched an investigation after fans insulted the woman who made history as one of the first female referees to be chosen for the men’s World Cup.

Salima Mukansanga was repeatedly insulted by Kiyovu Football Club fans as she officiated Friday night’s 0-0 draw with Gasogi United in Nyamata, south of Kigali.

On Wednesday, the club vowed to name and shame those responsible.

“The Kiyovu sports community will not tolerate anyone who disrespects anyone, especially in sports,” the club said in a statement.

The Rwandan Football Association condemned the abuse and announced late Tuesday it had launched its own investigation. A government spokeswoman, Yolande Makolo, praised the association for taking action against “unacceptable behavior”.

“We are with you @RhadiaSalma,” she posted on Twitter on Wednesday.

Mukansanga was among three women in the list of 36 referees selected by FIFA for the World Cup in Qatar at the end of 2022.

It was the first time women were called up for the men’s tournament, although Mukansanga ended up not officiating a game.

The 34-year-old made history last year by becoming the first woman to referee the Africa Cup of Nations. She also refereed the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

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