The international football referee admits that the game has made her famous.
Perhaps, one area of growth of Cameroonian football is the increasing presence of women as referees. According to Raphael Evéhè Divine, President of the Referees’; Commission, the country boasts 17 female referees and 27 assistants in League One championship, as against 25 male referees and 41 assistants. At the international level, there are four female football referees and four assistants, compared to seven male referees and seven assistants.
Among the international female football referees since 13 years now is Abou’ou Thérèse Sylvie. “I never imagined I would become a football referee someday, but today, I am, thanks to the encouragement of Atangana Simon, a former football referee.” Beginning as a football player, Abou’ou Thérèse later took interest in refereeing. Today, she does not regret having made the choice. “ On the contrary, football refereeing has made me what I am today,” the lady admits.
Her first international outing was participation in the 2004 African Women Football Championship in South Africa. “ I learnt a lot from my colleagues from the different countries, given that they had more experience. I was the only Cameroonian female referee at the tournament, thus I needed to work together with others. All went well and I learnt so much,” she told “Fécafootline” publication soon after her return from South Africa in 2004.
Abou’ou Thérèse Sylvie began her career in 1999 with the South Regional Football League One championship. She has officiated in many international matches, including the 2016 World Football Female Military Cup in France. “I am not discriminated against because of my sex. Instead, I have always stamped my authority in every match. I encourage young girls not to shy away from becoming football referees,” she concludes on a counseling note.