Dorsaf makes history as first Arab woman referee in top division

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Tunis: Dorsaf Ganoiati has made history by becoming the first woman to officiate a top-division football match in Tunisia and the Arab world

Dorsaf, a physical education teacher who had played football and became a referee in 2012, refereed the match between Champion Esperance Sportive of Tunis and Athletic Club of Bizerte in the country’s largest stadium in Rades in the outskirts of the capital Tunis. A short time after the match, Dorsaf said she was pleased and honored to make history for Arab women. “I am pleased with my performance,” she said in statements to the media in Tunisia. “It was a great opportunity and I look forward to repeating the experience. The success of her performance is likely to encourage football officials to consider appointing more women to officiate games that had been until now the bastion of male referees. “I will always cherish this great and historic day in my career since I became the first Arab woman to referee a professional match between men in the top divisions,” she said. “Women referees in football matches are capable of the highest performances.”

Dorsaf, 34, re-wrote history in May 2017 when she became the first woman referee in a football match in the second division. She and three female assistants officiated a game between Union Sportive Monastirienne and Stade Tunisien, two of the top teams in the second division then. The two teams were this season playing in the first division after they were promoted.

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