Factbox: Meet Africa's 2022 World Cup referees

Six African officials will represent the continent at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, in addition to 10 assistants and two Video Assistant Referees.

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 19 Nov 2022,
African referees


Below are mini-profiles of the African referees that include their ages and the main highlights of their careers.

African main referees:


Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda)

Born in 1998, Mukansanga is an international football referee who hails from Rwanda. She has been a FIFA-listed referee since 2012.

The 34-year-old made headlines in January when she became the first woman to officiate at the men's 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

She made her debut as a main referee during an African Women's Championship game between Zambia and Tanzania in 2014.

"It is because of how I handled that match that I proved my ability to lead matches at any level on the continent," Mukansanga told reporters.

"It was an exciting experience. Since that day, I have been trusted to officiate countless international matches in Africa and beyond."

Mukansanga also officiated at the Women World Cup in 2019 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)

Born in 1979, Zambian referee Sikazwe made his breakthrough in 2008 at the COSAFA U-20 Challenge Cup in South Africa when he was called up to replace another referee who had failed a fitness test.

The Qatar edition will mark his second World Cup participation as he also took part in the 2018 Russia finals, where he refereed a group-stage game between Belgium and Panama.

He is the only Zambian referee to have taken charge of World Cup games.

Among the high-profile games he presided over in his career is the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup final between Real Madrid and Japanese hosts Kashima Antlers.

Sikazwe has been an ever-present in the African Cup of Nations since 2012.

However, in his last appearance earlier this year, he sparked controversy after ending a game between Tunisia and Mali 10 minutes from time. CAF officials said he had suffered a heat stroke.

Bakary Gassama (Gambia)

Born in 1979, Gassama became an international referee in 2007.

He officiated at the 2012 Olympic Games, in which he was the fourth official for the gold medal match between Mexico and Brazil.

The 43-year-old was selected as CAF's sole referee for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia as well as the FIFA Club World Cup in 2014.

Gassama has been a regular pick in the Africa Cup of Nations since 2012.

This is also his second World Cup after a previous experience in Russia in 2018.

Victor Gomez (South Africa)

Born in 1982, South African Victor Gomez has been an international referee since 2011.

He was voted South Africa's Referee of the Season in 2012-13 and 2017-18.

The 39-year-old wealthy businessman officiated at the 2015, 2019 and 2021 editions of Africa Cup of Nations.

He was in charge of the 2021 Nations Cup final in Cameroon, where Senegal beat Egypt on penalties to win the coveted trophy.

He also took part in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Maguette Ndiaye (Senegal):

Senegalese referee Maguette was born in 1986. He is the son of former international referee Papa Ndiaye.

Ndiaye has officiated at a variety of major tournaments including the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup, CAF Champions League, the 2019 U-20 World Cup and the 2019 and 2021 Nations Cups.

Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria)

Algerian referee Ghorbal, who was born in 1985, has been a FIFA international referee since 2014.

The 37-year-old officiated at the 2019 and 2022 editions of the Nations Cup as well as the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup.

It's the first time for Ghorbal to take part in the World Cup.

African assistant referees:

Mahmoud Abouelregal (Egypt), 35 years
Zakhele Siwela (South Africa), 40 years
Samba El Hadji (Senegal), 43 years
Elvis Noupue (Cameroon), 39 years
Arsenio Marengule (Mozambique), 35 years
Gourari Mokrane (Algeria), 40 years
Abdelhak Etchiali (Algeria), 41 years
Jerson Dos Santos (Angola), 39 years
Djibril Camara (Senegal), 39 years
Souru Phatsoane (Lesotho), 34 years

African video referees:

Redouane Jiyed (Morocco), 43 years
Adil Zourak (Morocco), 44 years

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