Some top referees from central region, including a Fifa listed match official will be sidelined from officiating both league and cup games at least for the next five months, having stayed away from the Physical Fitness Test held at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe on Tuesday, August 6, 2013.
The match officials include Fifa referee Jones Makuwira and Grade 1 referees Simon Jovinala and Patrick Ngoleka, all from Lilongwe. There is also a fourth referee Joseph Nyirongo from Dwangwa in Nkhotakota.
The four did not take part in the physical fitness test attended by referees from all parts of the country, citing injuries as the main reason.
Previously, it was understood the referees would continue officiating until the next physical fitness test but the Football Association of Malawi (Fam) referees’ subcommittee ruled after meeting to review results of the fitness test that the four were ineligible to officiate at any level.
Chairman of Central Region Referees Committee (CRRC) William Chikontha confirmed receiving communication from the referees’ sub-committee that the four would be ineligible to handle games.
The development means there will only be few qualified referees to handle Super League or crucial cup games in central region.
Chikontha admitted the problem but was quick to point out the committee would be sourcing from its available resources.
“There are other referees who can take up the task but where we have many big fixtures, we will be asking our counterparts in the north and southern regions to help us,” said Chokontha.
During the Physical Fitness Test, only two out of 42 referees failed the test.