Malawi’s FIFA referee Bernadettar Kwimbira will set another milestone in her refereeing career on Friday when she will be part of a first ever African trio to officiate a quarterfinal match at a Women’s Olympic Football tournament.
Kwimbira has been designated as the first assistant referee along-side centre referee Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda and Kenyan Mary Njoroge as second assistant referee for the second quarterfinal match between Great Britain and Australia. The fourth official will be Alves Edina from Brazil.
This will be the trio’s third game at the ongoing 2020 Olympic games after they officiated the first match of the tournament between Great Britain and Chile on July 21, 2021 and a group F encounter between Netherlands and China yesterday.
In January this year, Kwimbira became the first woman to officiate a match at a CAF Men’s Senior national teams final tournament when she joined male referees in a CHAN match between Guinea and Namibia.
At the same tournament, she set yet another milestone when she alongside Nigerian Mimisen Lyorhe and Ethiopian Centre referee Lyda Tafesse Adebelem, formed the first ever all-female officiating panel in a CAF Men’s senior national teams match in a Group D encounter between Namibia and Tanzania.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka hailed Kwimbira-Nzika for her achievements.
“She is a shining star for Malawi. She has continuously put Malawi on the map. Remember she was also among the first ever females to officiate an African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in November 2019 alongside Ishmael Chizinga in the match between Libya and Tanzania. We wish her all the best,” he said.
Multi-award winning Kwimbira-Nzika has an enviable record, having officiated at 2015 and 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup, 2016 Olympic games, Women’s Senior Afcon, Women’s Under-20 World Cup and Youth Olympic Games.