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Japan’s Yamashita first woman referee at men’s Asian Cup

Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita will be the first woman in history to referee 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.

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