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Last Updated: Monday, 1 September, 2003, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
Zimbabwe woman makes history
Steve Vickers
BBC Sport, Harare

Sabelo Sibindi
Sibindi is happy to break new ground

Zimbabwean referee Sabelo Sibindi has become the first woman to officiate at a full international in Africa.

She acted as the fourth official for the Cosafa Cup semi-final between Zimbabwe and Swaziland in Bulawayo on Sunday.

Sibindi told BBC Sport website that she was delighted to have broken new ground for women in African football.

"I haven't been involved in men's football in Africa before, and it was a great experience," said an elated Sibindi.

"I hope to be match commissioner at some big game somewhere and I'd love to go to the World Cup one day."

Sibindi is a 38-year-old accountant from Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo.

I'd love to go to the World Cup one day
Sabelo Sibindi

She has been blowing the whistle for 16 years and was the first woman to take charge of a match in Zimbabwe's premier league.

Sibindi refereed at the 2002 Cosafa women's championships and her next major assignment will be the All-Africa Games in October.

Despite receiving the criticism that is the lot of all referees, she has earned the respect of fans after handling many high-pressure encounters.

"I love football because it's easy to follow, it's so interesting and it's a people's sport.

"It's great to be part of the game."

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