AFCON 2023: How Morocco’s Bouchra Karboubi Led an All-Women Officiating Team in Nigeria’s 1-Nil Win Against Guinea Bissau

By Duchess Magazine

Something amazing happened at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Bouchra Karboubi, a Moroccan international football referee, made history as the only female central referee at the tournament.

But that’s not all! The Nigeria vs Guinea Bissau match became the first AFCON game ever to be officiated by an all-woman team. Bouchra Karboubi was the main referee, with Carine Fomo from Cameroon and Diana Chikotesha from Zambia as her assistants.

The game took place at the Félix Houphouët Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.

Bouchra Karboubi is not alone in representing Morocco at AFCON. In fact, there are seven Moroccan referees in total! Alongside Bouchra, Jalal Jaid and Samir Kazzaz will also be main referees. Mustapha Akerkad and Lahcen Azguaou will serve as assistant referees, while Redouane Jayed and Zakaria Brinzi will be VAR referees. They are all doing an incredible job!

Bouchra Karboubi has achieved so much in her career as a referee, officiating both women’s and men’s matches at big competitions.

Did you know that in 2020, Bouchra became the first female referee in Morocco’s top men’s football league? That’s a huge accomplishment!

Bouchra’s journey hasn’t always been easy. Growing up in Taza as the youngest of five siblings, she faced negative reactions from her family, especially her brothers, when she decided to pursue refereeing.

But she didn’t let that stop her. Bouchra loved football and wanted to follow her passion. She joined a referee school in her hometown, even though it wasn’t considered “normal” for a girl to be on the field with men.

Eventually, her family came around and supported her. Her father even stepped in and told her brothers to respect her choice. That’s what we call family love!

Bouchra’s hard work and dedication paid off. She became a national referee in the Moroccan women’s football league and later achieved international referee status in 2016. Wow!

In 2018, she officiated a match in the final stages of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations held in Ghana. That was a major milestone in her career.

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