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Yamashita is first woman to referee AFC Champions League game

Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita became the first woman to referee an Asian Champions League match when Australia’s Melbourne City played South Korean side Jeonnam Dragons in the group stages. 

Yamashita managed the tie in Asia’s premier men’s club competition with the support of assistant referees Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi. All three are women from Japan.

“Their selection reinforces the (Asian Football Confederation’s) commitment to strengthen and develop the women’s game at all levels,” said the governing body. 

Melbourne beat Jeonnam 2-1 in Thailand on Thursday with first-half goals from Carl Jenkinson and Andrew Nabbout.

In 2019, Yamashita, Bozono and Teshirogi became the first all-female team to officiate a match in the AFC Cup, Asia’s second-tier club competition.

The AFC plans to launch a women’s version of the Champions League next year in an effort to boost the women’s game in the region. 

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