Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released a list of 64 Referees to officiate the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals slated for January next year in Cameroun, but no referee from Malawi has made it on the list.
This is despite Malawi’s qualification for the tournament which kicks off on 10th January.
On the list, 24 are Center Referees whilst 9 will be operating the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), with 31 as Assistant Referees.
The last time Malawi had a Referee at Afcon finals was in 2012 through Moffat Champiti but since then, local Referees with FIFA badges have constantly been snubbed by the Continent’s soccer governing body.
Southern Africa will be represented by South Africa which has contributed Victor Miguel De Freitas Gomes and Zakhele Thusi Granville Siwela, Zambia which has contributed Janny Sikazwe, Mozambique with Arsenio Malingura, Lesotho which will have Souru Phatsoane and others from Angola as well as Seychelles.
North Africa has dominated the list with Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt all sending Referees to be part of the tournament.
Malawi has Five FIFA Center Referees in the name of Godfrey Nkhakananga, Easter Zimba, Gift Chicco, Ishmael Chizinga and recently added Newtone Nyirenda. There are six Malawian FIFA Assistant Referees namely Clemence Kanduku, Jonazio Luwizi, Edward Kambatuwa, Innocent Kaundula, Evance Msonda and Joseph Nyauti.
The country has two female FIFA Center Referees namely Mercy Kayira and Eness Gumbo whilst Bernadetta Kwimbira, Happiness Mbandambanda and Elizabeth Sichinga are FIFA’s female Assistant Referees.
In the Afcon, the Flames are in Group B alongside Guinea, Senegal and Zimbabwe.