Malawi’s decorated Fifa female assistant referee Bernadettar Kwimbira-Mzika is on course to reach another milestone in her glittering career after being appointed in the provisional officiating team of 48 earmarked for 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup to be staged in France.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) referees development officer Maxwell Mtonga said Kwimbira-Mzika, who made her maiden appearance at the 2015 women’s global showpiece, is among 16 assistant referees from Africa who would be monitored in the run-up to the tournament before a final list of seven is picked.
Mtonga applauded the former athlete for flying the Malawi flag higher because of her outstanding performance.
“These are direct appointments from Fifa earmarked for World Cup. Bernadettar is doing great and making Malawi proud,” Mtonga said.
“It shows that for those who can work and aim high, indeed the sky is the limit.”
He said Kwimbira-Mzika is set to leave for Germany for the Fifa Referees Cup scheduled for June 17-18 as part of an assessment exercise lined up by the world football governing body.
He appealed to other referees to work hard and be ambitious.
“We are there to give referees all the assistance they need, but the onus is on them to show the world that they are capable,” he said.
“It also shows that FAM selects and recommends referees on merit to be on Fifa panel.”
Former CAF referees’ director Bester Kalombo said Kwimbira-Mzika deserves the appointment because she is a hard worker.
“Bernadettar is highly qualified and I am not surprised that she has been shortlisted on the panel of referees for the 2019 World Cup,” he said. “Everytime she travels, she puts Malawi on the map. I would like to wish her all the best so that she makes the final list.”
Kwimbira-Mzika described her shortlisting as another milestone in her career, attributing it to divine intervention.
“I thank God for His grace. We are so many but from Africa there are 16 candidates from which they will choose seven,” she said.
“There’s a lot happening now as Fifa is monitoring each and every step for those of us selected. From training to diet and local games one is officiating.”
Kwimbira-Mzika also officiated at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as well as four consecutive Africa Cup of Nations in 2010 (South Africa), 2012 (Equatorial Guinea), 2014 (Namibia) and 2016 (Cameroon). n