Bernadettar Kwimbira nominated 2021 IFFHS Awards


Top female Fifa Assistant Referee Bernadettar Kwimbira continues to steal the limelight on local and international scenes as she has been nominated for the 2021 International Federation of Football History Statistics (IFFHS) awards.

The celebrated referee is among 16 female referees who have been nominated in the World Best Women Referee category.

Kwimbira and Rwandan Salima Mukansanga are the only African female referees that have been nominated on the list.


Kwimbira said it was a great honour to be among the World’s top 16 women referees.

“This can only be God and I thank the almighty for making it possible for me to be among the nominated 16 female referees.

“We are going through a very difficult time with the Covid pandemic; there was a time when no football was happening through out the world and we, as referees, we were inactive,” she said.


Kwimbira attributed her nomination to her outstanding performance in the three international tournaments she has officiated at this year.

“I think I have been nominated based on my performance in the three tournaments that I have had this year, the 2020 Chan, 2020 Tokyo Olympic, as well as the Caf Women’s Champions League tournament where I am currently one of the officiating personnel.

“For me, whether I take this award home or not, I take myself and the other 15 nominated referees as winners already,” she said.

Kwimbira, who is currently in Egypt for the inaugural Total Energies Caf Women’s Champions League, is Malawi’s most decorated Fifa Referee, having officiated at two Olympic Tournaments, two Fifa Women’s World Cups and five Women’s Africa cup of Nations finals.

The Zomba-based referee was also part of the first ever all-women refereeing team to officiate a match at a Caf Senior Men’s final tournament when she, alongside Nigeria’s Mimisen Lyorhe and Ethiopian referee Ldya Tafesse Adebele, took charge of a 2020 Chan Group D match between Namibia and Tanzania earlier this year.

She has for three consecutive years (2017-2019) won the best referee of the year in the Malawi Sport Awards organised by the Malawi National Council of Sports and won the 2017 overall Sports Personality of the year.

Kwimbira has also been earmarked for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup finals to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

French female referee Stephanie Frappart is the holder of the award after making it as the 2020 World’s Best Women Referee.

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