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4 local referees set for Afcon duty

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VOTE OF CONFIDENCE—Chizinga

Four Malawian referees have been selected to officiate the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier between Botswana and Zambia slated for November 20 in Francistown, Botswana.

Highly rated local referee Ishmael Chizinga has been chosen as the centre referee with compatriots Clemence Kanduku and Innocent Kaundula as his assistants. another Malawian Godfrey Nkhakananga will be the fourth official whereas Jose Fernando Macao from Angola will be the match commissioner.

This will be Chizinga’s second Afcon assignments having officiated the match between Libya and Tanzania at Stade Mustafa Ben in Libya last year.

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The move shows that Malawian referees have won the confidence of the Confederations of African Football Associations (Caf) in recent years. Only elite referees are assigned high profile matches such as the Afcon qualifiers.

National Referees Football Association (NRA) General Secretary Chris Kalichero said Chizinga has made the country proud.

“Afcon qualifiers are high profile matches so to be considered for the such matches it is a welcome development. Chizinga is a hard worker and dedicated referee so I urge all the upcoming referees to emulate him,” he said.

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Chizinga believes he was a few steps away from officiating Afcon finals.

“It feels great to be selected for a big assignment. Caf has shown confidence in Malawi referees and we will maintain our professionalism. We will continue flying Malawi flag high,” he said.

Chizinga has officiated several international matches since 2018 including Confederations Cup between Green Buffaloes and CS Sfaxien, Zamalek and Welayta Dicha. In domestic football, Chizinga was voted as the best referee of the season in 2017.

Meanwhile, three female referees are currently in South Africa for this year’s Cosafa Women’s championship which starts tomorrow in Nelson Mandela Bay. Happiness Mbandambanda and Eliza Sichinga have selected as assistant referees whereas Martha Nyekanyeka is the match assessor and instructor.

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