Top-notch Fifa woman assistant referee Bernadettar Kwimbira-Mzika has been appointed in the officiating panel for Nigeria 2019 Women’s African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers second leg between Ivory Coast and Morocco on April 10.
Kwimbira-Mzika has been appointed as first assistant referee with Lidwine Rakotorafinolo of Madagascar as second assistant referee while Zambian Gladys Lengwe is the centre referee, according to Confederation of African Football (CAF) website www.cafonline.com.
Rosalie Rosalie from Madagascar is the fourth official, Felicia Okwugba of Nigeria is match assessor and Floriane Agbolani of Benin is the match commissioner.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) referees development officer Maxwell Mtonga was not available for comment but acting competitions manager Casper Jangale confirmed the development, saying it is an honour to the association and Malawi as a country.
“Bernadettar Kwimbira-Mzika continues to fly the Malawi flag higher, as she represents a Malawian woman, FAM and Malawi in general,” Jangale said.
He said the appointment of Kwimbira-Mzika for the high-profile game would also attract more aspiring referees to take up refereeing.
“As a role model in the sport [refereeing], we hope more and more young girls will look up to her and say they can even go beyond her feat. The sky is the limit and possibilities are endless,” he said.
The inaugural Malawi Sport Awards overall winner said the game would be her first match of the year.
“My last assignment was in December in Nigeria during Women’s Under-20 World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia which ended goalless but hosts qualified on away goal rule after a one-all draw in the first leg,” said Kwimbira-Mzika.
She is expected to leave on April 7 for her first international away assignment since December last year when she handled the second leg of Women World Cup Cup Under-20 qualifiers between Nigeria and Ethiopia.
She is also set for France 2019 Women’s World Cup, tournament having been appointed in the provisional panel.