Yoshimi Yamashita is set to make soccer history when the Japanese referee will take charge of the men’s Asian Cup next year in Qatar.
It is the first time the AFC has appointed female match officials for its marquee men’s event.
“For the first time ever, women match officials are poised to make their debut at Asia’s most prestigious men’s national team competition,” the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement.
Along with Yamashita, Japan will also be represented by assistant referees Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi during the tournament which will run from January 12 to February 10 of next year.
The 24-team Asian Cup will be played in most of the same stadiums as the men’s World Cup, where Yamashita served as the fourth official for six group games.
Yamashita was one of three female referees picked by FIFA for the men’s World Cup.
In April, Yamashita led the first all-female team of match officials for a game in the J-League, Japan’s top league.
The AFC said the video review system will be used for the entire tournament for the first time. At the 2019 tournament, video review started being used at the quarterfinal stage.
Last month the AFC announced it would launch an Asian women’s Champions League next year.