South Africa’s Akhona Makalima is among the 12 African referees picked for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup which gets underway in July.
Makalima will be the only South African referee in New Zealand and Australia, and her inclusion didn’t come as a surprise given her experience.
A total of 33 referees, 55 assistant referees and 19 video match officials (VMOs) will form FIFA Team One, and they include Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga.
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Makalima has been among the top referees in South Africa since her big break in 2014 – she is used to officiating DStv Premiership matches
The 34-year-old referee’s first major tournament was in 2016 when she officiated at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Makalima also officiated at the 2019 Africa Games as well as the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON).
She is also a regular in the Hollywoodbets Super League as well as the men’s and women’s CAF Champions League, and all that worked in her advantage.