Malawi’s assistant ref Kanduku to officiate at U-20 AFCON in Mauritania 

Malawian FIFA assistant referee Clemence Kanduku is expected to officiate at the 2021 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations to take place in Mauritania between February 14 and March 6, 2021.

Kanduku (left) during a previous international match he officiated

Kanduku is among the 35 African referees that Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has selected for the biannual tournament.

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Referees Development Officer, Maxwell Mtonga was delighted with the news, saying the experience that Malawian referees get at such international tournaments helps in improving their performance in local competitions.

“This is very encouraging because it’s shows the confidence that CAF has for the Malawian referees because of their performance.

“The exposure and experience that he is going to get there will be shared among fellow referees back home hence help improve our game,” Mtonga said.

Before the tournament, Kanduku and the rest of the selected referees are expected to attend a three-day refresher course from February 10-13 where they will undergo physical, theoretical and technical tests.

Kanduku’s appointment comes at the time female assistant referee Bernadeter Kwimbira is making records at the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament in Cameroun.

Last Saturday, Kwimbira made history when she joined the first-ever all women refereeing team to officiate a match at a CAF senior men’s tournament.

Kwimbira — alongside Nigeria’s Mimisen Lyorhe — were assistants to experienced Ethiopian referee Ldya Tafesse Adebele as they took charge of a Group D match between Namibia and Tanzania.

This was Kwimbira’s second match at the tournament as the previous Monday, she became the first-ever woman to officiate at a CAF Senior Men’s tournament when she joined male referees in a Group D match between Guinea and Namibia.

Abebe and Lyorhe were making their first appearances at the tournament.

The trio are Africa’s top female referees as Kwimbira and Abebe were part of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup panel in France while Iyorhe has joined the two on the 2023 FIFA World Cup referees’ shortlist.

The Zomba-based referee’s high profile tournaments include two FIFA Women’s World Cups, Olympics games and five CAF Women’s AFCONs.

In 2019 she also made history by becoming one of the first female referees to officiate in CAF AFCON qualifiers.

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