Meet Akhona, the female referee set to make history in AFCON

 Meet Akhona, the female referee set to make history in AFCON

The AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations) scheduled to take place in Ivory Coast from January 13 to February 11 will birth lots of history and South African Referee, Akhona Makalima will make her own history when she becomes the second woman to officiate in an AFCON game.

As the first licenced female football referee in South Africa, Akhona has officiated matches in the South African Football Association (SAFA), the Premier Soccer League, and the SASOL Women’s League.

She has been listed as a FIFA international referee since 2014 and then, appointed by FIFA on January 9, 2023, to officiate the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia.

Akhona is 35 years old as of right now. She was born on March 27, 1988.

The official studied human resource management at King Hintsa FET College and received a National Diploma in the field before entering the field of professional refereeing.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia in 2023 brought Akhoma Makalima to the pinnacle of her officiating career when she was selected for the officiating pool.

Beyond global arenas, Akhona’s officiating prowess are evident in the Premier Soccer League, the SAFA Women’s League, and the larger South African Football Association (SAFA). She has demonstrated that she is a champion of justice and integrity on the pitch with each whistle blown and every decision made. Makalima is a well-known and respected female referee in South Africa who officiates in the men’s division of the South African Premier Soccer League in addition to having a FIFA badge.

With every step she takes, Akhona breaks through the glass ceiling in a field where women have historically been underrepresented.

Akhona Makalima is leading a movement to promote inclusivity and diversity in the football industry as the second female official in AFCON hi story.

See also: Rebecca Welch: 7 things to know about first EPL female referee

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