While the Super Falcons entertain Nigerians in Morocco, two other Nigerian women will seek to fly the country’s flag even higher.
Patience Madu and Mimisen Iyorhe were two of 40 match officials: 16 centre referees, 16 assistant referees and eight Video Assistant Referees (VAR), named by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to officiate in the 12th edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON).
It is not the first time both Nigerians are in line to officiate at a continental competition as this, as they were both, among the 32-woman personnel that officiated at the last edition of the WAFCON, held in Ghana in 2018.
At the men’s event that was held between January to February, only Samuel Pwadutakam – an assistant referee, was named among a list of 63.
However, Madu and Iyorhe shine on at regional and international stages for the Nigeria Referees Association while the light on the men’s side remains dim.
Madu and Iyorhe are among pre-selected officials named by FIFA for next year’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Here is more to note about these women set to call the shots in Morocco
- 33-year-old Patience Ndidiamaka Madu is a centre referee, and 38-year Mimisen Agatha Iyorhe is an assistant referee.
- Madu, a referee member of the Enugu State Referees Council, is a PhD student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
- Iyorhe is a graduate of Abubakar Tafawa Belewa University and a referee under the Benue State Referees Council.
- Madu was one of the 13 female centre referees at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. She was the fourth official for three group stage matches, and was part of an all-African crew for the quarter final between the Great Britain and Australia.
- Madu was one of the privileged top-class referees selected from various parts of the world to take part in an intensive FIFA course in Doha, Qatar in 2020. The programme was aborted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Iyorhe is one among 8 African match officials (2 referees, 4 assistants and 2 VAR referees) to officiate at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup that will hold in Costa Rica in August 2022.
- In March 2020, Madu was appointed by CAF to officiate the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifying game between Liberia and Ghana.
- Both women were appointed by CAF to officiate the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifier between Ghana and Uganda.
- Iyorhe has also officiated in the men’s game. She was the 2nd assistant referee of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying second-leg clash between Rwanda and Kenya. She was also the 2nd assistant referee for Al Ahli Tripoli vs Stade Malien in the CAF Confederation Cup in 2021.
- Both women were regular officials at the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League.