Four of Malawi’s FIFA referees are in Ethiopia on Confederation of African Football (CAF) duty as they prepare to take charge of Wednesday’s match between Ethiopian club Wolaitta Dicha and Egyptian giants Zamalek.
The match is among several to be played in the first leg of the CAF Confederations Cup second preliminary round.
The four are Ishmael Chizinga, Hendrix Maseko Edward Kambatuwa and Patrick Ngoleka.
Chizinga will be the centre referee assisted by Maseko and Kambatuwa while Ngoleka will be the 4th official.
The match takes place at the Hawass International Stadium.
The four are the only local referees involved at this stage of the competition, which is the second time for two of them this year alone.
Chizinga and Ngoleka were last month in Zambia to officiate a CAF Champions League first round second leg tie between Zanaco and Gambia Armed Forces.
They were accompanied by Clemence Kanduku and Festone Kusekuse.
During the same week, another set of Malawian officials comprising Dennis Nguluwe, Jonizio Luwizi, Innocent Kaundula and Alfred Chilinda travelled to Comoros to take charge of a CAF Confederation Cup clash between NGAZI-SPORT and AS Port Louis 2000 of Mauritius.
Besides the men in black, there are four other Malawian stars taking part in the continental showpiece.
Flames striker Gabadinho Mhango and his South African club Bidwest Wits are in Angola for a Champions League date against 1 de Agosto on Wednesday while Mozambican side UD Songo, boasting of the Flames duo of goalkeeper Charles Swini and midfielder Frank Banda in their ranks, have a daunting task as they face DRC heavyweights TP Mazembe.
Lawrence Majawa and his Botswana outfit Township Rollers were in action on Tuesday, beating Young Africans 1-2 away in Tanzania.
Local representatives in this year’s continental competition, Be Forward Wanderers and Masters Security, were last month both embarrassingly bundled out at the first hurdle.
Wanderers suffered a 6-2 aggregate defeat to AS Vita from the DRC in the elite Champions League, while Masters were 5-0 losers to Angolan outfit Petro de Luanda in the Confederations Cup.
For marching forward with all the pomp and swagger, Vita have been paired against Difaa El Jadida, with the first leg away in Morocco on Wednesday, while Petro played Supersport United of South Africa on Tuesday.