Meet Namibia’s First Female to Officiate WAFCON

Meet Namibia’s first female to officiate WAFCON
Former Namibia senior women national team Striker now turned FIFA Official, Twanyanyukwa Antsino, made national headlines when she reached another milestone by becoming the first Namibian female to officiate at the Women Championship of African Nations (WAFCON) held in Morocco in early July.

Antsino’s participation in this auspicious tournament is a major contribution to the development of women in sports in Namibia, and she now stands as a trailblazer for other women aspiring to take up space and make significant impacts within the football society.
“Di Maria”, as she was affectionately known as, during her playing days, hung up her boots in 2019 to take up a career in Refereeing and has been unstoppable since. Last year, the no-nonsense Referee bagged the Namibia Sports Commission Referee/Umpire of the year.
Speaking on her international experience, the confident Antsino embraces the moment saying it is evidence that there’s a reward to hard work and commitment.

“I attended a VAR course a month prior to the tournament kicking off, where we were informed that there would be a selected few to officiate at the tournament. I had no idea I would be the one to represent my country.” “It was an absolute honor to be in the presence of senior quality Referees in Africa. Most of them are inspirational and I used every opportunity I got to learn as much as I could to build on and improve my officiating skills.”

Though still young, she is not oblivious to the fact that growing older is inevitable. “Age matters in sports, so as I age, fitness becomes an issue however, I will continue to put in the required effort to assure that I keep up with my duties, and hopefully even qualify for the next World Cup. “

“Governing bodies like FIFA and CAF offer plenty of courses that one can participate in to remain relevant when I am no longer able to officiate, and I think these are opportunities that we as women need to grab with both hands.” She advised.
Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga was the first woman to officiate the tournament in 2021 when it was hosted in Cameroon.

-Article contributed by Nancy N. Halweendo

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