Rwanda’s top woman referee Mukansanga Radia Salma will make her debut at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sunday when she takes charge of the Group F match between Sweden and Thailand at 15h00 at Stade de Nice in Nice, France.
Mukansanga is among 27 referees and 48 assistant referees, representing 42 different countries, for the Women’s World Cup.
The 28-year – arguably the best and most famous female referee the country has ever produced, will be assisted by Malawian Bernadettar Kwimbira and Rakotozafinoro Lidwine from Madagascar.
Katalin Kulscar from Hungary is the fourth official while Felix Zwayer from Germany will be the VAR Official.
The pairings are different but the roles remain the same in Group F with USA and Sweden heavy favourites once again in the section’s second round of matches. Chile and Thailand face familiarly long odds but each knows they must spring a surprise if they are to maintain any hope of vying with their heavyweight opponents for a top-two finish.
Sweden’s win against Chile put them in a good position in the group but the Swedes will want to show a lot more efficiency in front of goal. This match should be a good opportunity to work on just that. Madelen Janogy was the big revelation against Chile and it’s possible she will get the chance from the start to show what she can do.
After their humiliating loss to the FIFA Women’s World Cup holders, Thailand is out to restore some morale. They know that another defeat will effectively end their chances of taking an unlikely spot in the knockout phase. Although the mood in the squad has remained largely positive, the Thais will need to give every ounce of effort to take anything against a strong Sweden side.
This time, Mukansanga is one of the only three African 27 centre referees in Paris for the FIFA Women’s World Cup alongside with Gladys Lengwe of Zambia and Ethiopia’s Lidya Tafesse Abebe.
She is also the only female central referee in the ongoing 2018/2019 Azam Rwanda Premier League season.
The Women’s World Cup started on June 7 and is currently underway in Grenoble, Le Havre, Lyon, Montpellier, Nice, Paris, Reims, Rennes and Valenciennes, and will climax on July 7.
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019
Sweden vs Thailand (Stade de Nice, 15h00)
USA vs Chile (Parc des Princes, 18h00)