Fifa assistant referee Bernadettar Kwimbira-Mzika has been selected for women’s football 2019 France World Cup after officiating at Ghana 2018 women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), including Saturday’s final between Nigeria and South Africa.
This is her second consecutive selection for the World Cup from the provisional officiating team after impressing during the past three years in which they were under assessment.
The Fifa Referees Committee shortlisted the 27 referees and 48 assistant referees, representing 42 different countries, for the 2018 World Cup France scheduled for June 7 to July 7.
“The referees selected for the next Fifa Women’s World Cup, the most important competition in women’s sport, have demonstrated their skills at previous tournaments, including the Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 and Uruguay 2018, as well as the Fifa U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea in 2016 and this summer in Brittany, France,” reads a Fifa statement in part.
The journey to the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2019 began for an initial group of female referees and assistant referees worldwide in September 2015 when the world governing body started the France 2019 women’s refereeing project.
“As part of this project, preparatory seminars have taken place over the last three years for referees and assistant referees, focusing on protecting players and the image of the game, as well as on consistency in interpreting the Laws of the Game. Technical expertise, football understanding, fitness and the ability to read the game and teams’ tactical approaches to each match have been the main topics covered at these seminars,” said the statement.
In preparation for the tournament, Fifa said it will continue observing the selected match officials to provide support and guidance to be ready for the big occasion.
Kwimbira-Mzika says she will work hard to maintain her fitness for the tournament.
“I would like to thank God for this. I will pray for good health and work hard in preparation for the event,” she said.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) referees development officer Maxwell Mtonga said Kwimbira-Mzika has done Malawi proud.
“Bernadettar is a star performer and her appointment shows that we have good referees in the country,” he said.