Akhona “She Ref” Makalima, a female South African referee, cannot wait for the commencement of the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July and August.
Since 2014, the tough-as-nails official from the Eastern Cape has officiated in the Premier Soccer League and the CAF Champions League.
As part of her efforts to improve her performance, she will travel to Doha, Qatar, at the end of January for a referees’ seminar, where she will represent Africa alongside Vincentia Amedome (Togo), Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco), and Salima Mukasanga (Rwanda), who participated in the men’s World Cup that ended in December.
Excitedly, Makalima declared, “My heart is overflowing with gratitude, and there are so many emotions and so many things for which I am grateful.”
“I would like to thank everyone who has assisted me on this trip. I would want to thank Danny Jordaan, president of the South African Football Association (Safa). I’d also like to thank the referees committee, my HoD, the regional president, my local football association, and every match commissioner who provided me with constructive comments.
“I would also like to thank the other match officials who have accompanied me on this journey.”
She explained, “It is always gratifying to see all of your hard work pay off.”
The number of officials appointed to Fifa and CAF events is evidence of the association’s efforts to improve officiating in the country. I am overcome with emotion and cannot describe my joy with words.”
Fifa will release the dates and times for the World Cup matches that Makalima will be in control of.
The defending champions of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa’s Banyana Banyana, have been placed in Group G with Italy, Argentina, and third-ranked Sweden.