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Best of the best

Bernadettar Kwimbira blows out 33 elite referees

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Malawian elite Fifa assistant referee Bernadettar Kwimbira’s star continues to shine on the international scene after she was named overall best among 33 referees who attended a five-day Confederation of African Football (Caf) Elite ‘A’ Women Referees Course in Djibouti.

The course brought together Africa’s top female referees from 24 countries.

Kwimbira, who was the only Malawian referee at the course, is no stranger to such success after emerging the best performer at a joint Elite Men and Women Referees Course in Cairo, Egypt, in 2013.

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The Malawian said she was pleased with being named the best of Africa’s best.

“I thank God for the achievement. This is good, not only for myself, but for Malawi football as well. There were many good referees at the course and it was not easy to come out as the best.

“We had a two-day class session where we learnt Laws of the Game and we then had to interpret the laws on the field of play with practical sessions for three days”, she said.

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Kwimbira has since urged fellow Malawian female referees to keep working hard and have self-discipline if they are to make it at top level.

She remains Malawi’s most decorated referee having officiated at two Fifa Women’s World Cups, five women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals, one Olympic Games finals, one Youth Olympic Games finals and Fifa Women’s under-20 World Cup, among other high-profile assignments.

National Referees Association General Secretary, Chris Kalichero, said he was not surprised with the development.

Kalichero said Kwimbira had proved on many occasions that she was among the best in the world.

“We are very proud as a referees’ body in Malawi. It is an indication of our capabilities. This should be a motivation for other Malawian referees. We have match officials who are very capable. We congratulate Bernadettar for representing with flying colours,” he said.

Kwimbira’s exploits have also been recognised locally on many occasions as she has won different accolades including the Sportswoman of the Year award during the inaugural Malawi Sport Awards.

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