News Brief

Nigeria is the 2019 Winner of the Africa Women's Basketball Championship

Nigeria beat Senegal 60-55, ending the tournament with a definite bang.

The 2019 edition of the AfroBasket Women's Championship, hosted by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), officially started last week and ended yesterday. The eight-day tournament, which saw 12 teams competing against one another, is the first qualifier for the 2020 Summer Olympics being held in Tokyo, Japan. Not only did Nigeria's national team, D'Tigress, emerge as the winners of this year's AfroBasket Women's Championship and go on to qualify for the Olympics, they also qualified for the 2022 Women's Basketball World Cup, Konbini reports.


Nigeria was definitely the team that everyone was looking to beat after they took home the championship back in 2017. D'Tigress put on a world-class performance and played five games without being defeated. In the finals, Nigeria went head-to-head with the host country Senegal, which has held the winning title a whopping 11 times to date. Admittedly, the game was incredibly close in the third quarter. However, in the end, D'Tigress were the team that had more heart and beat Senegal 60-55.

This is Nigeria's fourth time winning an AfroBasket title and makes them the first team to win the title back-to-back since Angola did the same back in 2011 and 2013.

Watch the highlights of the epic game below:

Senegal v Nigeria - Highlights - Final - FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2019 youtu.be

Sports
Photo: Mainimo Etienne

The Rwandan Woman Who Made Football History

We talked to Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga, who is the first woman to officiate a match in the Africa Cup of Nations' 65-year history.

On the 18th of January, 2022, a woman stepped into the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé, Cameroon, whistle in hand, a walkie-talkie tucked behind her shorts. Taking up her post as central referee for the Zimbabwe-Guinea game, she would make history as the first woman to officiate a match in the Africa Cup of Nations. Chit-chat occupied the stands, as spectators waited for the curtains to be drawn at 17:00 hours for the match to begin. Whispers of “Hope she will deliver,” could be heard, as Salima Mukansanga prepared to take to the field.

During the match, some spectators counted the 34 yellow cards she handed out at the end; others found her soft and tender with no serious refereeing issues in the game. Mukansanga leads a quartet of women match officials for this year's AFCON, with Carine Atemzabong, from Cameroon, Fatiha Jermoumi and Bouchra Karboubi, both from Morocco, present as assistant referees. Until this year’s tournament, in its 65-year history, an all-women team of refereeing officials had yet to be designated for an Africa Cup of Nations match.

With this accomplishment, 35-year-old Mukansanga has emerged as a trailblazer for other women who aspire to step out and break sporting bounds. Her role in this year’s tournament signals a major moment in the development of women refereeing in football, on the continent and for the sport as a whole.

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