The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has congratulated Nigerian officials Patience Ndidi Madu and Mimisen Iyorhe Calvin-Onwuka for their historic feats in their various roles at the ongoing 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.
Madu, who also officiated at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year, became the first Nigerian referee to officiate in a Women AFCON match using the Video Assistant Referee device when she took charge of the group stage encounter between Burkina Faso and Uganda. She served as the fourth official in two other games.
Mimisen Calvin-Onwuka became the first Nigeria assistant referee in the quarter-finals of a Women AFCON that deployed the Video Assistant Referee, when she played that role during the quarter-final encounter between South Africa’s Banyana Banyana and Tunisia. Calvin-Onwuka had earlier been part of the group stage encounters between Togo and Tunisia, and the match between Burkina Faso and Uganda where Madu was the referee.
“We congratulate Patience Madu and Mimisen Calvin-Onwuka for their historic outings and we urge them to continue to do Nigeria proud at all matches and tournaments in which they find themselves. Both officials have been improving brilliantly in the past years and we commend them for their strong determination to keep improving themselves, self-motivating, and performing diligently at a high level,” NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi said on Tuesday.
In her quarter-final experience, Calvin-Onwuka was yoked with Salima Mukansanga – the Rwandan official who is widely regarded as the leading woman referee on the African continent. The 33-year-old officiated at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals and is one of three women referees globally who have been shortlisted for the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar later this year. She has also officiated at the Olympics and the CAF Women’s Champions League.
Earlier this year in Cameroon, Mukansanga became the first woman to referee an Africa Cup of Nations match.
Mimisen Calvin-Onwuka is one of the referees shortlisted to perform at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals in Costa Rica, slated for 10th – 28th August.
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