World Cup: Kenya boosted as FIFA names Mary Njoroge referee candidate
This file photo taken on December 17, 2015, shows a sign of FIFA seen at the football’s World governing body headquarters in Zurich. [AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI]

World football governing body FIFA named 156 referees and assistant referees for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup selected worldwide on Wednesday.

Kenya has once again been boosted after FIFA named Mary Njoroge as a prospective woman Assistant Referee candidate for the 2023 showpiece which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Njoroge, who has the necessary experience, was also picked to officiate the FIFA Women World Cup in France that ran from June 7, 2019, to July 7, 2019.

Other assistant referees selected for the continental showpiece are Lidwine Rakotozafinoro (Madagascar), Bernadettar Kwimbira (Malawi), Queency Victoire (Mauritius), Diana Chikotesha (Zambia), Mimisen Iyorhe (Nigeria), Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco), Fanta Kone (Mali), Carine Atezambong Fomo (Cameroon), Yara Atef Said Abdelfattah (Egypt).

Njoroge has also accomplished major steps in her career as she was short-listed to officiate in the 8th Africa Women Championships finals set for Equatorial Guinea.

She also made history for the books as she officiated the 2019 U17 Africa Cup of Nations pitching Nigeria and Angola alongside Malawi’s Kwimbira Bernadette, Madagascar’s Lidwine Rakotozafinoro, and Mauritius Queency Victoire.

World Cup: Kenya boosted as FIFA names Mary Njoroge referee candidate
Centre referee Davies Omweno (centre) and assistants Mary Njoroge and Gilbert Cheruiyot officiate the Kenyan Premier League U20 championship between Mathare United FC and Gor Mahia Youth at Nyayo National Stadium on Friday, August 26, 2016. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be its ninth edition with the women’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA will contest in the quadrennial international football championship.

Living in the 21st century, where we have devised the technology to monitor robots to do our jobs, there’s still one aspect where we fall grossly short when it comes to progress — gender equality.

Rant as we might, the truth is that although the world may have moved a few inches forward since the time of the World Wars, in some ways society has remained rooted to the spot because the very idea that a woman can equal a man is an abomination to many.

Mary Njoroge is an inspiration to many young female referees who may want to follow her footsteps to officiate the beautiful game.


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