Fifa has trimmed down from 16 to 15 Malawi’s quota for this year’s Fifa panel referees with veteran Kalyoto Ngosi as the casualty, according to Fifa website.
The reduced quota for referees and their assistants means limited exposure for the country’s referees who struggle to scale the heights of refereeing great, Bester Kalombo.
Malawi’s quota for female referees has remained at five with Grace Msiska and Linda Chikuni being maintained as main referees. Bernadetta Kwimbira, Happiness Mbandambanda and Chikondi Mpindo have also retained their places as assistant referees.
Mercy Mziya, who officiated at Cosafa Championship, has missed the list available on www.fifa.com. Several Malawi referees authenticated the revised list for Malawi.
The Fifa panel referees are the only eligible ones to handle international games anywhere in Africa.
For the male referees, the 10-member quota has shrunk from 11 last year with Ngosi from Mzuzu dropped for Duncan Lengani. Retired Moffat Champiti has not been replaced.
Lengani makes the four-member men’s Fifa (main) referees alongside reinstated Anthony Rafael, Dennis Nguluwe and Jones Makuwira.
But the men’s six-member assistant referees’ roaster has one casualty, Bothwell Nsangu, who has been replaced by Innocent Kaundula. Others recalled are Jones Chimeza, Clemence Kanduku, Festone Kusekuse, John Ngolanga and Kachimore Nkhata.
By Friday, FAM referees development officer Maxwell Mtonga and National Referees Committee general secretary Chris Kalichero had not yet received the updated list.
The Nation was curious to establish Malawi’s allocation of referees following a tip from one of the referees that their friends in other countries had been informed and had already received their badges.
In the Cosafa bloc, Malawi’s allocation of 10 Fifa referees places the country on number three alongside Seychelles and Zambia.
South Africa and Angola lead the region on 13 referees followed by Botswana’s 11; Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique on nine whereas Swaziland have six. Cote d’Ivoire also have 13, which is the highest number for an African country.
There seems to be no correlation between football standards and the number of referees for each country. The backwater of Africa football such as Somalia and Eritrea have nine and 11, respectively.
On the world stage, Italy and Brazil have the most referees, 20, followed by world champions Spain’s 19 and 18 each for Argentina and England.