By Mphatso Malidadi:
Four match officials, including well-known Grade One referee Evidence Kananji and Gishon Phiri, failed physical fitness tests held at Chiwembe Ground in Blantyre on Saturday.
The tests are being conducted ahead of the 2019 season, which officially kicks off on March 30 with the Charity Shield at Kamuzu Stadium.
National Referees Fitness Instructor, Moffat Champiti, described the Southern Region test as successful with 102 out of 106 referees passing.
“The performance of the referees during the test was encouraging. Only four failed but the rest managed to go through. Kananji and Phiri failed to make the grade after failing to meet the standards by a whisker,” Champiti said.
He said the referees that have failed would be given six weeks to prepare before retaking the test.
“It is not over for them. They have at least six weeks to train and ask for another test. If they fail again, they will not be assigned games in the new season,” Champiti said.
Champiti said it is important for the referees to continue working hard to improve their performance during games.
“We do not want cases where the referee blows for an incident when he is 40 metres away. This is why we are encouraging them to be fit all the time. When referees are fit, they are able to spot fouls and make sound judgements,” he said.
The tests continued in the Central Region Sunday and will move to the North today.