One of the match officials who will officiate the 2023 AfCON final between Nigeria and Ivory Coast in Abidjan is the Zambian referee, Diana Chikotesha.
In just two years, the 35-year-old has officiated at events such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the CAF Women’s Champions League, and the Women’s AfCON.
In Sunday’s AfCON match, Emiliano Dos Santos of Angola is the first assistant referee and Dahane Beida of Mauritania is the center referee, according to a Friday announcement from CAF.
Meanwhile, Morocco’s Bouchra Karboubi takes on the role of the fourth official, becoming the first female referee to do so in a men’s AfCON final.
Mohamed Ashour of Egypt and Maria Rivet of Mauritius, who will be in charge of the Video Assist Referee (VAR), will be the ones making the decisions behind the scenes.
Diana continues to add accolades to her increasing resume. She was the first female referee from Zambia to compete in a men’s AfCON.
Chikotesha’s impressive performances at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations so far have garnered applause from the football community. As an assistant referee, she oversaw Senegal against Cameroon in Group C and Mali vs. Burkina Faso in the last 16.
She also officiated Burkina Faso vs. Mauritania in Group D, Egypt vs. Democratic Republic of the Congo in the Round of 16, Guinea vs. Democratic Republic of the Congo in the Quarterfinals, and Nigeria vs. South Africa in the Semis as a VAR official.
Because of this, the Zambian referee earned the right to act as assistant referee when Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire square off at the Alassane Ouattara stadium.
Ivory Coast wants to become the first host country to win the AfCON since Egypt in 2006, while the Super Eagles of Nigeria want to match the four AfCON titles held by their fierce rivals, Ghana.