This Referee is the First Arab Woman to Officiate a First Division Men’s Football Match

International Tunisian football referee Dorsaf Ganoiati made Arab women everywhere proud when she refereed a match in the Tunisian League. On Saturday, Ganoiati became the first Arab and African woman to referee a men’s first division match.

Dorsaf Ganoiati. Photo: Getty

Making history, the 33-year-old officiated the final match between Espérance Sportive de Tunis and Club Athlétique Bizertin. Ganoiati is no stranger when it comes to taking on the role of the referee in matches. Her impressive career includes multiple women’s football matches refereed by her as well as a second division men’s match. In May 2017, Ganoiati made her debut in men’s matches when she refereed the match between Stade Tunisien and Union Monastir.

Speaking to France24 prior to the match she said that she was first surprised to learn that she had been selected as the referee, admitting that it would be a challenge. Describing the match as a success after it ended she said, “I hope some will understand that women can do the job, even better than men sometimes.”

Ganoiati completed her studies at the Institute of Sport and Physical Education at Al Said Palace (ISSEPK) in Tunisia, and was first a physical education teacher and a footballer before she became a referee in 2012.

Read Next: Saudi Women Have Chosen This Iconic Way of Celebrating the Driving Ban Lift’s One-Year Anniversary