Moroccan referee Bouchra Karboubi became the first Arab woman to officiate a match at the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN-2023) soccer tournament, as the centre referee.
Karboubi led the decisive match between Nigeria and Guinea Bissau at the Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, on the 3rd and final day of Group A of the CAN-2023.
It was a milestone achievement for the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), which has prioritized development of women’s soccer under King Mohammed VI vision .
The remarkable growth in women’s soccer in Morocco, reflected in a number of recent achievements, most recently the U20 national team’s historic qualification for the FIFA World Cup in 2024,the fruit of the FRMF’s long-term efforts and concrete actions to promote the sport.
Prior to the Nigeria-Guinea Bissau match as part of the CAN-2023, police inspector Bouchra Karboubi distinguished herself by officiating numerous soccer matches at national and continental level.
She was also the first Moroccan woman to officiate a Throne Cup final, when AS FAR and Moghreb de Tétouan battled it out for the 2019-2020 title in Agadir in May 2022.
She also officiated at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20.
On January 10 in Dubai, Karboubi was awarded the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Prize for Sports Creativity, in its twelfth edition, as “Best Arab Football Referee”.
The prestigious prize was awarded to the Moroccan referee in recognition of her leadership and performance as a professional referee who has successfully directed international matches in high-level competitions.