FIFA rates Malawian referees highly

FIFA Refereeing Instructor Responsible for English Speaking Countries in Africa, Felix Tangawarima has hailed Malawian referees for an impressive performance over the past two years.

Kwimbira -Mzika

Tangawarima, who is Confederation of African Football (CAF) Referees Committee Member, made the remarks during the official opening of the five-day FIFA Member Association Elite referees course at the Mpira Village in Blantyre’s Chiwembe Township.

He noted that the country’s whistle blowers’ success in getting recognition from FIFA and CAF to officiate matches at the highest level is as a result of the programs by FIFA in partnership with the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).

“We want the youngsters to follow the footsteps of these referees. We had the Council for Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA), which is our development platform and we have reached greater heights with such developments,” Tangawarima pointed out.

He added that, “I am quite happy with the level of refereeingand what we have reached so far and I can assure you that at the end of this week, these referees will not be the same because we are going to take them through practical activities.”

Tangawarima hailed the country’s women referee for shinning on global showpiece adding that by the end of the course, the trained referees would have a privilege to officiate a friendly game between Malawi and Zambia.

Malawi’s top-notch FIFA women’s assistant referee, Bernadette Kwimbira-Nzika, FIFA women’s referee, Agnes Chamaere and Rose Zimba as well as Happiness Mbandambanda are some of the Malawi women referee making headlines on the international level.

Kwimbira-Nzika recently officiated the 2019 France FIFA Women’s World Cup while Mbandambanda, Zimba and Chamaere run the line at this year’s COSAFA Women’s championship in South Africa.

On his part, FAM Referees Committee Chairman, who is the Executive Member, Maxwell Mtonga said that there is need for such trainings as rules of game change every year.

He said that, “the referees are giving us hope, you saw in France how Bernadette performed.”

The sentiments comes amid Malawian referees earning FIFA and CAF trust including Patrick Ngoleka, Assistant Referee Edward Kambatuwa, Feston Kusekuse and Mabvuto Msimuko who officiated CAF Under 23 qualifiers back in May, 2019 as well as the AFCON qualifiers in June.

Ishmael Chizinga, Innocent Kaundula, Edward Kambatuwa, Alfred Chilinda were promoted with the FIFA badge while Joseph Nyauti and Ibrahim Mafuleka were shortlisted as FIFA Assistant Referees.

The course, which started on September 2, 2019 with a fitness test at the Kamuzu Stadium, has attracted 35 top referees across the country and aside Tangawarima, Malawi’s FIFA Instructor Mark Mzengo will be facilitating the course.

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