Fifa assistant referee, Clemence Kanduku, is the only Malawian in the thick of things at the ongoing Cosafa Cup in Polokwane, South Africa, following the premature exit of the cold Flames.
Kanduku has been assigned several games, the latest being South Africa’s 4-1 win over Namibia at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday in a Plate Division semi-final.
After the game, Kanduku said being part of the officiating panel at the tournament was challenging, but worth it.
The officiating panel for the regional tournament is selected by the Cosafa Referees Committee.
“I am learning about teamwork here. It is not easy working in a team comprising people of different backgrounds. When you make a decision, it is reviewed and, I am learning a lot through the de-briefings. It is difficult in the Super League because sometimes you make the right call but because there is no chance for a review, it cannot be appreciated. We have no opportunity to see how we fared.
“Team-work and game management have been my biggest lessons here considering that we are from different countries. The scenario here is different from the setup back home because, as you know, SuperSport Television is beaming our matches and every decision is reviewed. In Malawi, when a decision is made, it is gone. There is no chance to see whether we are right or wrong,” he said.
While little-known back home, Kanduku has not disappointed at the tournament, whose organisers review every game using video clips and send back underperforming referees.
The competition, which winds up on Saturday, has attracted full referees such as Victor Gomes from South Africa, Nomore Musundire (Zimbabwe), Angola’s Helder Martins De Carvalho, Bernard Camille of Seychelles, Mauritian Ahmad Imtehaz Heeralall, Jackson Pavaza (Namibia), Hamada Nampiandraza (Madagascar), Mositwane (Botswana) and Celso Alvacao (Mozambique).
There are nine assistant referees including James Emile (Seychelles), Souru Phatsonae (Lesotho), Athenkosi Ndongeni (South Africa), Sifiso Nxumalo (Swaziland), Matheus Kanyanga (Namibia), Romeo Kasengele (Zambia), Fabian Cauvelet (Mauritius) and Mmadi Faissoil (Comoros).
The Flames crashed out at the group stages after scoring just one goal in three games and conceding two. They finished bottom of Group B with two points.
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