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Bernadette Kwimbira gets Olympics’ nod

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Malawi might not send athletes to 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, but the country has been honoured after Fifa assistant referee, Bernadette Kwimbira- Mzika, was selected to be among three African match officials for the event.

Kwimbira-Mzika has been selected alongside Zambian centre referee, Gladys Lengwe and Moroccan second assistant referee, Souad Olhaj, for the tournament that kick-offs in August.

Kwimbira-Mzika becomes the second Malawian to officiate at the Olympics after Bester Kalombo last officiated at the 1988 Games in Seoul, South Korea.

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Kwimbira-Mzika also officiated at 2015 Women’s Football World Cup in Canada last year, and she says the Olympic Games’ nod is the climax of her career.

“I feel humbled to be selected to officiate at the Games of that magnitude. It is really a big boost to my career after the World Cup experience last year. I learnt a lot in Canada and I hope to do well in Brazil,” she said.

“I will undergo two fitness tests here in Malawi and in Brazil. I will work hard to produce good results in the tests so that I should not lose this opportunity. This opportunity is a motivation to Malawian referees that we could be recognised if we do well.”

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Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) on Monday provided Fifa equipment to 15 referees that had made this year’s Fifa quota.

Fam Executive Committee Member, Daud Mtanthiko, appealed to the referees to exercise professionalism in their work.

“You must remember that you are carrying Malawi’s flag and in particular, Fam’s flag out there. Your structures will not hesitate to discipline any unwarranted conduct reported to have been displayed out there,” he said.

The majority of Malawian athletes from several sports disciplines failed to pass the test during Olympic Games qualifiers that started earlier this year.

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