Tshaulu-born female match official Petunia Todani might have started officiating a few years ago, but her ultimate dream is to officiate at a FIFA World Cup. Todani is a female assistant match official who currently officiates at the SAFA Vhembe Stream B.

Her interest in match officiating began while she was watching Tshaulu Hungry Lions, a team she grew up supporting. The 33-year-old also played women’s football but it was match officiating that stole her heart.

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She started officiating during the 2022/23 season under the SAFA Vhembe Stream B. “When I saw a female officiating, I told myself that I can also do it,” she told LimSportsZone.

She also shares some of her experiences during a match while she was just a beginner.

“I remember my first game when I ruled an official decision while it was supposed to be a throw-in [she laughs]. But I don’t make such mistakes and I really enjoy what I do.”

Petunia Todani's FIFA World Cup dream
Pecunia Todani in action

As is the case even in men’s football, fans normally harass match officials when decisions go against them. But Todani tells this publication that supporters do try to intimidate her but she doesn’t get moved.

“Yes [they do it sometimes], but I can not take them seriously because others know the rules while others don’t.

PETUNIA TODANI WORLD CUP DREAM

“I just want to see myself officiating at a FIFA World Cup. That’s what I want to achieve.” She said.

Ahead of the upcoming season, Todani has also passed her SAFA Vhembe as well as the Provincial fitness tests. She says she is raring to go into the new season and hopes to work hard to climb up the ladder to the professional ranks.

She will still be officiating on the SAFA Vhembe SAB League Stream B in the upcoming season.