Jawahir Roble is UK’s first female Muslim referee who grew up in Wembley but has a big dream of refereeing the English Premier League.
The 26-year-old who referees in her hijab began her career by chance as she initially wanted to play football and represent England in the Lionesses.
But when a referee did not turn up for a game, she was asked to take up the role. Now, Roble has FA qualifications and a degree in coaching.
At 10 years old, Roble also popularly known as JJ moved to England with her family to escape the war in her home country, Somalia.
JJ played football with the boys in Wembley which her parents were often not in support of.
“My parents, where do I start with them”, she said in an interview with Sky Sports.
“At the beginning it was like me against them. Them telling me, don’t play football anymore because it is a man’s game.
“Don’t play football because you’re a woman. Stop playing football because you’re never going to fit in. People will discriminate, people will be rude.
“I get where they’re coming from. I told them: ‘Guys, support me in refereeing. Clearly I’m not going to stop loving football. I’m going to find my own way’. I’m so glad I found refereeing.”
JJ currently referees youngsters at the Jason Roberts foundation, a charity set up near where she grew up in Wembley, which offers mentoring, sports and life skills to disadvantaged youngsters.
“Everyone says it’s a man’s game, football is a man’s game. I feel like I’m coming to their territory and I’m showing them who’s boss.” She said.
“Showing them how it’s done and encouraging more and more girls to come and take over, because this is anyone’s game.”
JJ is now training hard and watching what she eats as parts of efforts to fulfill her dream of refereeing in the Premier League, the Women’s Super League and perhaps one day even a Champions League final.