Four Malawian referees will start the New Year with an assignment in the African Champions League involving Kabuscorp do Palanca of Angola and Cote D’Or of Seychelles scheduled for the weekend of 7-9 February.
Zomba-based Fifa referee, Dennis Nguluwe, will handle the first leg preliminary round of group qualifying phase game in Angola with Kelvin Ngolanga and Clemence Kanduku as his assistant referees while Duncan Lengani will be the fourth official for the match.
Emmanuel Lesita of Lesotho will be the match commissioner.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) General Secretary, Suzgo Nyirenda, said the appointment of the Malawian quartet underlined the confidence the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), the appointment authority, have had in the local referees over the years.
Nyirenda also said it was a face saver for the country with Malawian clubs missing out of the competition for 10 years because of financial problems.
The last time a Malawian club participated in a CAF club competition was in 2004 when Big Bullets (then Bakili Bullets) reached the top eight.
The team, under the sponsorship of former President Bakili Muluzi, played some high-profile African clubs then such as South Africa’s Orlando Pirates, Enyimba of Nigeria and Etoile Sportive du Sahel of Tunisia.
“We are very happy to note that our referees have been assigned to handle such high profile games, CAF Confederations’ games, because it will expose them to more challenging games,” Nyirenda said.
“This is in another way round a good development because we will still have our presence felt with our teams again failing to enter because of financial problems.”
The second leg of the match is scheduled for the weekend of February 14-16.