Malawi’s top-notch female Fifa assistant referee Bernadettar Kwimbira will today be part of the officiating panel of Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup third-place play-off match between England and France in Vennes.
Kwimbira Mzika will officiate the match alongside centre referee Gladys Lengwe from Zambia and second assistant referee Lidwine Rakotozafinolo from Madagascar.
Ok Ri Kyang from South Korea will be fourth official while her compatriot Nyo Kum Hong will be reserve referee.
This will be the third match for the Malawian at the tournament which started on August 4 and winds up this evening.
She officiated the goalless draw match between hosts France and New Zealand on August 8 and Japan’s 6-0 thrashing of Paraguay on August 13.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) referees development officer Maxwell Mtonga applauded Kwimbira Mzika for being handed the bronze match fixture, saying it shows that her performance was consistent.
“This is really good for her [Kwimbira Mzika] because allocation of big games is based on merit. It shows that she did very well in her group games,” he said.
He said her performance also puts her in a better position to get another shot at 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup to be held in France as well.
“She is currently being monitored by Fifa after being selected for next year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup and this is good news for her,” he added.
He also appealed to referees in the country to borrow a leaf from her performance.
During her debut World Cup finals held in Canada in 2015, she was also selected in the officiating panel for the third-place play-off between England and Germany and officiated the final of inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing China in 2014.
Kwimbira has officiated at every Women’s African Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals since 2010 in South Africa.
She also officiated 2012 edition (Equatorial Guinea), 2014 edition (Namibia) and 2016 (Cameroon).
The 2018 World Cup Under-20 final between Japan and Spain will be officiated by Stephanie Frappart as centre referee of France and her compatriot Manvela Nkolos first assistant referee.
Michelle O’Neill of Ireland will be second assistant referee, Edina Batista Alves of Brazil will be fourth official while Min Kyuong Kim of South Korea will be reserve referee. n