Football Association of Malawi (FAM) yesterday presented Fifa badges to 15 referees for the year 2016.
FAM vice-president James Mwenda said the association was proud that young referees are joining the fray.
“We are particularly happy as FAM that we are now producing young referees. Previously most of the referees were above 30 years old, but now we have referees as young as 18 years old which is a step in the right direction,” Mwenda said.
“We are assured that if the referee starts his or her career at 18 and they are on Fifa list by the time they are 23 or 25, they will officiate at top level for 15 years.”
Mwenda also applauded referees for their discipline.
“We are happy with the discipline of the referees. You will agree with me that in the past we had a couple of referees punished due to indiscipline. But now we have very few cases of indiscipline,” he said.
“This is good because the performance is going up. We are not saying they are the best. There is still room for improvement. So, we are encouraging the referees to improve because football is dynamic. So they need to adjust as well.”
Mwenda also warned the referees not to be complacent.
“They should know that they carry Malawi flag when they go outside the country They should know that these are not permanent positions. If they perform badly they will be removed from the list,” he said.
Mwenda said there was now a clear cut procedure for coming up with the list which is sent to Fifa.
Mwenda said FAM would continue assisting referees.
“We will continue giving them adequate training both physical and technical. I am happy to report that now we have Fifa trained physical instructors and technical instructors in all the three regions. In the past the referees used to train on their own. This resulted in many of them failing the fitness test,” he said.
One of the successful referees Dennis Nguluwe said: “The recognition by Fifa is an appreciation that we are doing a good job and we thank FAM for its continued support.”
The 2016 male Fifa referees are: Dennis Nguluwe, Duncan Lengani, Mabvuto Msimuko and Patrick Ngoleka. Male assistants referees are : Feston Kusekuse, Hendrick Maseko, Edward Kambatuwa, Clemence Kanduku, Innocent Kaundula and Jonazio Luwizi. Female referees: Mercy Mziya and Agnes Chamaele. Female assistant referees: Benardetta Kwimbira, Charity Ndozi and Happiness Mbandambanda. n