The world football governing body Fifa has approved 15 Malawian referees for the 2022 season following physical fitness test held in September.
All the referees have retained apart from Ishmael Chizinga who did not participate in the September fitness exercise, saying he needs to take a break after personal problems.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) referee development officer Frederick Kholopa said Newton Nyirenda, who officiated the Airtel Top 8 final match between Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers last Saturday, replaced.
“We are pleased that FIFA has finally approved all the 15 names that we submitted for the 2022 International Referees panel which includes five women and 10 men. From The 15, six are centre referees and nine are assistant referees,” he said.
Kholopa has since urged elite referees in the country to keep on working hard and compete for places on the Fifa list.
“Looking at the list, most of the names are being maintained meaning that our referees are doing good. We would like to urge other elite referees to continue working hard and compete with these referees if they are to make it to be international referees. because we look at their performance when officiating our elite leagues before submitting the names to Fifa,” he said Kholopa.
On his part, Fifa referee instructor and physical fitness trainer Moffat Champiti also said the fact that most referees have been maintained has proved that Malawi has good referees.
“The list is prepared by local FAs, but it’s not automatic that Fifa will approve them. This shows that Fifa has confidence in our referees,” he said.
But Champiti, who remains the last referee to officiate at Africa Cup of Nations competition, appealed to them to aim higher.
Only assistant woman referee Bernadette Kwimbira-Mzika has officiated at higher level with, Women’s Afcon finals since 2012, two Olympic Games, two World Cup finals and she is shortlisted for the join 2023 New Zealand/Australia World Cup Games
Centre referees are Godfrey Nkhakananga, Gift Chicco, Mercy Kayira, Easter Zimba, Eness Gumbo and Newton Nyirenda while Kwimbira-Mzika, Clemence Kanduku, Eliza Sichinga, Innocent Kaundula, Happiness Mbandambanda, Edward Kambatuwa, Joseph Nyauti, Jonizio Luwizi and Evance Msonda are assistant referees.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :