Top Zambian FIFA female referee Gladys Lengwe took charge of her second match at the ongoing FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in France.
Lengwe was at the centre of the Group C tie that saw Japan battling it out on the pitch with Paraguay at the Stade De Le Rabine in Vannes.
Shepolopolo regular Anita Mulenga in an interview with Goal Diggers said the elevating of Lengwe was evidence women could excel in most unlikely ventures if they were given the much needed opportunities and support.
“People should now know that women or girls have the potential to do things that were deemed masculine long time ago. We just need support and encouragement from men and everyone else. At some point, no nobody thought women soccer was going to be this popular until now,” Mulenga said.
Meanwhile, soccer analyst Joel Kashi said Lengwe’s achievement broke barriers and exposed new capabilities.
“A lot of gender barriers have been broken in women soccer so the country is bound to see more female referees and players go to even greater heights. We need players too to rise to such achievements,” urged Kashi.
Lengwe was assisted by Lidwine Rakotozafinoro of Madagascar, Bernadettar Kwimbira of Malawi with Liang Qin of China being the fourth female official. She was also at the centre of the Group C Match between Japan and United States of America.
The Zambian referees started rising to bigger tournaments when Janny Sikazwe officiated at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup where he became the first Zambian to officiate at the prestigious tournament.