10 January 2023 – South African leading women referee Akhona Makalima is among the 12 elite African match officials appointed for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.

The Women’s World Cup will run from 20 July to 20 August.

 The tough as nut Makalima has over the past few years proven her professionalism and dedication to the game and has officiated several FIFA and CAF tournaments.

This will be the first FIFA Women’s World Cup assignment for the Eastern Cape-born Makalima something that will further decorate her already prestigious resume.

As a build up to the World Cup, FIFA will be hosting their first Match Officials seminar in Doha, Qatar from 30 January -2 February 2023 which Makalima is looking forward to.

Makalima said the upcoming World Cup appointment was one of the greatest achievements in her rising career. She said she was looking forward to the tournament and making the country proud.

‘’It is always satisfying when you put all the hard work and you see it paying off. SAFA and most officials have been putting in a lot of hard work to improve the officiating in the country and the number of officials appointed for FIFA and CAF tournaments is testament to the Association and officials hard work,’’ said Makalima.

‘’My heart is filled with huge excitement and gratitude. This is what we all strive for as match officials – officiating at the biggest stage and I really want to thank all those involved in this project for a job well done.

‘’I am really overwhelmed with emotions, words cannot express my excitement,’’ she added.

At the seminar in Doha, Qatar, Makalima will represent the continent together with Vincentia Amedome of Togo, Bouchra Karboubi from Morocco and Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda, who officiated at the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar. All in Qatar will be Diana Chikotesha of Zambia, West Africans Carine Atezambong and Fanta Kone from Cameroon and Mali respectively, Moroccan duo Soukaina Hamdi and Fatiha Jermoumi, Mary Njoroge of Kenya and Queency Victoire from Mauritania will be assistant referees while Adil Zourak also from Mauritania  will serve as a Video Match Official.