Referee Duncan Lengani retires a sad man


Fifa referee Duncan Lengani, who announced his retirement last Saturday, has said he is disappointed that local referees are struggling on the international stage.
Lengani, who started his refereeing career in early 2000, said it was a concern that local referees are being sidelined from international competitions.
“Indeed, it is time for me to say goodbye. But I will leave a disappointed man because our league is not being recognised at the international level. This is due to lack of our teams’ participation in international competitions. Unfortunately, this has also impacted on referees who are being sidelined in international competitions,” Lengani said.
The 38-year-old has been one of the outstanding referees on the local scene, and has officiated in several international competitions.
Lengani said he was not retiring due to frustrations, but felt that time was ripe for him to bow out.
National Referees Association General Secretary, Chris Kalichero, described Lengani’s retirement as a big loss to the refereeing fraternity.
“He was one of the well-qualified referees and he was professional when discharging his duties. However, we would still be using him in one way or the other,” Kalichero said.
Malawi has some 15 Fifa referees and assistant referees but only Dennis Ngulube is in the Elite B category (for men) for the Confederation of African Football (Caf) but there is none in the A category.
Bernadettar Kwimbira-Mzika is the only Malawian female referee in Caf’s Elite A section.
When selecting referees to officiate in international competitions, Caf priorities those in the two categories.

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