COSAFA’s sterling work in developing referees for the world game has been on display again with an all-Southern African team to officiate at the 2020 CAF Super Cup clash between Esperance and Zamalek in Qatar on Friday.
South African referee Victor Gomes has been appointed for the game and will be joined by compatriot Zakhele Siwela as the first Assistant Referee. Souru Phatsoane from Lesotho is the second Assistant Referee.
It is another feather in the cap for COSAFA, with all the match officials getting their break in international football through regional tournaments, which have helped to develop some of the best referees and assistants on the continent.
Three of the four referees that will blew in last season’s CAF Champions League semi-finals were from Southern Africa.
Joshua Bondo (Botswana), Hélder Martins de Carvalho (Angola) and Gomes all featured, while Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) was also in charge at the quarter-final stage.
But it is not just in the male game where COSAFA match officials are prized. Gladys Lengwe (Zambia) officiated at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France last June-July, while Bernadettar Kwimbira (Malawi), Lidwine Rakotozafinoro (Madagascar) and Queency Victoire (Mauritius) acted as assistant referees.