Zambian official Chikotesha makes history

Zambian assistant referee Diana Chikotesha made history when she became the first female on-pitch match official to feature in a men’s Africa Cup of Nations final this past weekend.

Chikotesha, who has come through the ranks at countless COSAFA tournaments, put in a faultless display as an assistant referee when Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria 2-1 in Sunday’s decider in Abidjan.

It is likely to be the start of further assignments in the men’s game for the 35-year-old, who has also officiated at the African Nations Championship finals and, of course, the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Jerson dos Santos from Angola was the other assistant referee in the Cup of Nations finals, making it a COSAFA double-act on the pitch and another sign of the excellent match officials that are developed in the region.

Meanwhile, in the VAR room was Maria Rivet from Mauritius.

Dahane Beida from Mauritania was the referee in the middle, with another female official part of the team too – Bouchra Karboubi from Morocco was the fourth official.