Eight Malawian top referees have been included on the list of the officiating panel for the Confederation of African Football (Caf) 2018 competitions, a relief to local whistle-men and women who are often overlooked in such international assignments.
The referees have been earmarked for preliminary round matches of Confederation Cup and Champions League in Comoros Islands and Zambia, respectively, next month.
Referee Dennis Nguluwe has been named centre referee of the match involving hosts Comoros’ Ngazi Sport de Mirontsi and AS Port Louis 2000 of Mauritius in the first-leg of the Confederation Cup.
Other Malawian referees Jonazio Luiz and Innocent Kaundula will be Ngulube’s assistants whereas Alfred Chilinda has been named reserve referee.
Lilongwe-based Fifa Grade One referee Patrick Ngoleka will be the centre referee of a match between Zambia’s Zanaco FC and Gambia Armed Forces FC at National Heroes Stadium in Zambia on February 11 in the first-leg of the Champions League.
Clemence Kanduku and Feston Kusekuse will be Ngoleka’s assistants with Ishmael Chizinga as the reserve referee.
National Referees Association General Secretary, Chris Kalichero, said it was good news that Caf was recognising local referees.
“We thank Caf for considering our referees. It shows that we have qualified and top referees in the country. We receive good reports that Malawian referees perform well during international matches and we are proud of them,” Kalichero said.
Nguluwe has officiated several international games, including the match between South Africa and Namibia in 2010, whereas Ngoleka has handled top matches such as the recent one between Comoros and Botswana.
Malawi’s Masters Security FC and Be Forward Wanderers are involved in the continental competitions after being drawn in the preliminaries against Petro de Luanda of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s AS Vita.
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