AFCON 2023: Five interesting facts about the female Moroccan Referee that officiated Nigeria vs Guinea-Bissau match

Bouchra Karboubi during the AFCON 2023 match between Nigeria and Guinea Bissau | Imago

AFCON 2023: Five interesting facts about the female Moroccan Referee that officiated Nigeria vs Guinea-Bissau match

Ayoola Kelechi 23:57 - 23.01.2024

Fans have been fascinated by referee Bouchra Karboubi, who took charge of Nigeria's AFCON 2023 group game against Guinea Bissau

In the realm of international football, referees play a crucial role in upholding the integrity and spirit of the game. The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 witnessed a significant moment in its history during the Nigeria vs Guinea-Bissau match.

 This moment was marked by the presence of Bouchra Karboubi, a Moroccan referee, whose participation in the tournament as an official was not just a routine assignment but a groundbreaking event. 

Her role in this high-profile match brought to light several fascinating aspects of her career and contributions to football. Below are five intriguing facts about Bouchra Karboubi that exemplify her achievements and the barriers she has broken in the world of football officiating.

Trailblazer in Arab World 

Bouchra Karboubi made history as the first Arab woman to officiate at the male Africa Cup of Nations. This milestone was achieved after she became the first woman to referee in Morocco's top-flight football league in 2020.

A Rarity at AFCON 2023

Among the 68 match officials at the 2023 AFCON, there were only six female referees, with Karboubi being the sole female centre referee.

Second Woman in AFCON History 

Karboubi is the second woman to officiate in an AFCON game. The first was Rwanda’s Salma Mukansanga, who made her debut in 2021.

Dual Career 

Prior to her involvement in AFCON, Karboubi also served as a police officer, balancing her duties in law enforcement with her refereeing career.

Award-Winning Referee 

Just days before the start of AFCON, Karboubi received the prestigious Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Prize for Sports Creativity in Dubai. She was honored as the "Best Arab Football Referee" for her exceptional leadership and performance in directing international matches.

These facts highlight Karboubi's groundbreaking achievements and her significant role in paving the way for women in football officiating, especially in the Arab world.

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