World Governing body FIFA on Thursday selected Kenyan referee Mary Njoroge to officiate at the playoff tournament for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.
Njoroge who was voted the Assistant Referee of the Year for the 2020-2021 season is among 29 match officials selected from all over the world to officiate at the tournament.
Reacting to the appointment, Njoroge said the timing was perfect.“This appointment couldn’t have come at a better time. This is God. We needed something to give us hope after a very difficult period in our refereeing career and this is it,” she said.
She also thanked the government for ending Kenya’s International suspension.
“These are the moments we live for, I thank the new CS Ababu Namwamba for ending the impasse and making us available for international assignments again.”
Njoroge was also picked to officiate the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in 2019.
She is the second Kenyan official to receive a high-ranking international assignment after Dr. Peter Kamaku was picked to officiate at CHAN in Algeria earlier this week.
The tournament is set to begin on February 17 and end on February 23, next year.Today, Kenya has six FIFA accredited female referees out of the total 35 referees who can be appointed by the world football governing body to officiate in any international football game.
Out of the six, two are center referees and four are assistant referees.
Josephine Wanjiku and Caroline Wanjala are the current two center referees accredited by FIFA out of the total eight who are only accredited by the Football Kenya Federation to officiate in the local top tier league competitions.
The FKF accredited referees are Winnie Were, Judith Muhonja, Lucy Juma, Elizabeth Muturi, Francina Khamali and Teresia Kabubi.Mary Njoroge, Jane Cherono, Carolyne Kylies and Hannah Njambi are accredited by FIFA as assistant referees out of the 13.
All of the eight center referees and 13 assistant referees oversee the Football Kenya Federation Premier League matches.In May 2021, World governing body FIFA selected Mary Njoroge to officiate the 2020 FIFA Men’s and Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
She among the 99 match officials, who include 25 referees, 50 assistant referees, 20 video match officials, and 4 support referees selected from 51 countries.
Njoroge was last year also appointed to officiate the CAF Confederation Cup group stage match pitting Cameroon’s Coton Sport against Zambia’s NAPSA stars.
She has the 2019 FIFA Women World Cup as well as the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in her resume.