Mariem Chedad became the first Mauritanian woman to officiate in a CAF competition and the 25-year-old has huge dreams.

Mauritania’s referee Mariem Chedad is one of the match officials at the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations at home.

Chedad is still a University student as she continues to prepare her Masters degree in Logistics.

However, she has no problem in studying and officiating in the Mauritanian top-flight and second tier.

Mariem Chedad has a lot of dreams and would like to see other women to follow in her footsteps.

“The truth is I love order, and for everything to be always in place. And as I adore football, I found in refereeing the necessary suitable place for me”, Chedad told CAFonline.

“There have been criticisms, but since I have the blessing of my parents, there is no problem. Refereeing does not stop me from following our traditions, and we have to carry on despite criticism.

“There is no problem [in refereeing men’s matches], the rules are universal even if it goes faster in the men’s game, but I am used to doing it in the local championship. It is true that in AFCON it goes faster and the stakes are huge, but I just focus on my part and it’s going well.

“I just hope that this will give more opportunities to women of my country to live their passion, play sport and contribute to our country’s development.”

“I’m preparing for a Masters’s degree in Logistics at a private university. I was lucky to have understandable managers who arrange my studies and exams. I conduct my studies and refereeing simultaneously, I officiate in Mauritanian Super League Divisions 1 and 2. It’s going really well and the other referees are encouraging us a lot because we are just a few women”

“I have become a model for my sisters. I am so proud to see my parents, especially my father, being happy with my presence in this competition. During my last match (Morocco-Ghana) he was present and I saw his smile from afar. And for nothing in the world, I do not want to change this pride that I have given to my family.”