By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
One of the positive things to come out of the controversial FIFA World Cup in Qatar is the introduction of female referees to officiate at the tournament.
Whilst only three of them, namely, Stephanie Frappart (France), Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda) and Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan), this is an important milestone in the participation of women in elite sport.
The participation of women referees is being seen particularly as a positive message for women in Qatar, whose rights are restricted by the country’s male guardianship law and the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam.
To adapt American Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s famous saying of 50 years ago when placing his left foot on the moon’s surface: one small step for women, one giant leap for womenkind!