Female referee takes charge of Egyptian league game for 1st time

Ahram Online , Tuesday 30 Aug 2022

Shahenda El-Maghrabi became the first female referee to officiate an Egyptian Premier League game after taking charge of Smouha's match against Pharco in the competition's final round on Tuesday.

Shahenda El-Maghrabi (R) took charge of Smouha's game against Pharco (Photo: Smouha's official Facebook page)


El-Maghrabi made history by becoming the first main female referee in the premier domestic competition for men, having previously served as an assistant referee in a couple of top-flight matches.

Born in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, the 30-year-old played for several Egyptian clubs as a teenager before quitting and becoming a referee in 2014. She became an international referee two years later.

According to local reports, El-Maghrabi is nicknamed "Collina" by her peers, in reference to former Italian referee Pierluigi Collina, the famous bald-headed official who now heads FIFA's Referees Committee.

"Shahenda is one of the best referees not only in Egypt, but also in Africa," Essam Abdel-Fattah, the outgoing chief of Egypt's refereeing committee, previously said in a television interview.

El-Maghrabi's first game was free of troubles as it ended in a 0-0 draw between Smouha and Pharco.

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