Ethiopia's Lydia Tafesse Making History

Tuesday March 17 2020


Men have dominated some sports professions for many years. The number of male referees is higher than that of female referees all over the world. They enforce the Laws of the Game in association football games. Two assistant referees help the referee during any soccer match. Betway covers various soccer tournaments from different countries. Lydia Tafesse is one of the few female referees in Africa. Read on to learn more about her.

Lydia Tafesse

Lydia was born on April 30, 1980, in Jimma. She relocated to Addis Ababa after her high school education. Tafesse was a soccer referee and a basketball player for Kitaybetoch while in her youth. The Central University College offered her a scholarship and she studied a diploma in Pharmacy. She continued her studies and later got a degree. Lydia was active in her school years as she participated in mini-media, gymnastics, family planning counseling and Red Cross. Still, she continued playing basketball.

Tafessee officiated her first official match in Mekele City in 1992. It was a men's football match that helped her discover her refereeing skills. Senior instructors in the game praised her for her courage and composure. She later stopped pursuing her Pharmacy career.

Lydia always dreamt of being an Ethiopian Premier League referee. She achieved her goal and started aiming at officiating the African Cup tournament. Soccer fans who engage in Betway Zambia betting can predict whether Lydia will officiate a particular Ethiopian game.

Lydia has enforced the Laws of the Game in the Africa Cup of Nations for four consecutive years. She was the referee in the semi-final match between South Africa and Nigeria. Also, the Ethiopian Football Federation voted Lydia as the best referee for three years in the women's and men's Premier League.


Unfortunately, Lydia had many health complications during her pregnancy that made her take long to return to the pitch. Tafesse was the only female referee in Ethiopia when she started her career. Also, she was the first female sports official from Ethiopia to control players in an international game. She has inspired many communities to change their perception of female referees.

Lydia stated in a recent interview that both male and female referees need guidance. She promised to request CAF and FIFA to train upcoming referees since she isn't a sports instructor.

Lidya's Remarkable Achievement

Lydia will be the first African female referee to officiate a senior men's match at the continental level. She is the only woman to be added to the list of 20 referees who will enforce the Laws of the Game in the 2020 African Nations Championship in Cameroon. Lydia officiated the FIFA Women's World Cup and the Africa Women Cup of Nations in the past.

Lydia is committed to her career. She likes promoting fairness in football games. Like other African sports legends, Lydia started from the bottom before she became an international referee. She has faced many challenges in her career. The Ethiopian referee is a role model for many girls. FIFA gave her some costly sports equipment for free but she gave them to underprivileged senior referees. Betway allows African sports enthusiasts to wager on local and foreign leagues.