Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita will be the first woman in history to refer at the men’s Asian Cup when she takes charge of Australia against India, the Asian Football Confederation said Thursday.
Yamashita, who was a fourth official at the 2022 Men’s World Cup, is one of five women match officials at the Asian Cup in Qatar.
The 18th edition of the tournament kicks off on Friday.
Yamashita will take the whistle for the Group B opener on Saturday, with Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi appointed assistant referees.
The Japanese trio made history in 2022 as the first all-woman refereeing team for a game in the Asian Champions League and in Japan’s domestic J-League a year later.
The 37-year-old Yamashita took charge of the opening game of last year’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
PUNCH Online reported that females are stepping up to becoming referees on the bigger stages.
In last December, the English Premier League appointed Rebecca Welch as its first female referee.
This was according to an announcement by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited via the league’s website.
Her first official match as a central referee was between Fulham and Burnley on December 23, a game won by the latter.