COSAFA learnt with distress on Friday of the passing of Mozambique referee Samuel Chirindza at the age of 32.
Chirindza, viewed as one of the top up-and-coming referees on the African continent, passed away in Mozambique having contracted malaria.
Chirindza was originally scheduled to officiate at the on-going 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup in Namibia, but pulled out before the tournament because of his illness.
“We are all shocked and saddened by the passing of Samuel,” Felix Tangawarima, FIFA Referee Instructor for Southern and Eastern Regions – Africa, said. “He came through the COSAFA referee development programme and showed huge promise.
“He had already officiated in a number of games at CAF and FIFA level and we viewed him very much as one of our leading referees of the future.
“We are very proud of what he contributed to refereeing on the continent and are desperately sad to lose him at such a young age.
“The referees at the COSAFA Castle Cup tournament have taken the news hard, and we would all like to send our condolences to Samuel’s family in Mozambique.”