Barely seven months after failing the Fifa fitness test, assistant referee Happiness Mbandambanda has retained her status after passing the test held on October 24 in Lilongwe.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) referees development officer Maxwell Mtonga said the former elite athlete has picked herself up.
He said Cosafa selected Mbandambanda and another assistant referee Eliza Sichinga to be part of this year’s officiating panel.
Said Mtonga: “The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations [Cosafa] invited Eliza Sichinga and Happiness Mbandambanda to officiate games at 2020 Cosafa Women’s Cup and Under-17 Championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Cosafa do their own selection without interference. We are happy that they will represent Malawi. We wish them well.”
In March this year, Mbandambanda failed alongside eother elite referees Evidence Kananji, Andy Kuseli, John Phiri, Mercy Maziya, Agnes Chamaeli and Dishon Phiri.
Malawian referees’ instructor Martha Nyekanyeka, who has also been selected for the tournament, said the referees have been undergoing a five-day pre-tournament course which will end today.
Meanwhile, Malawi national women’s football team is expected to leave on Wednesday for the tournament scheduled for November 4-14.
National Women’s Football League chairperson Suzgo Ngwira said coach Nebert Kazuwa will name the squad tomorrow.
Malawi’s China-based professional stars Tabitha Chawinga and her sister Temwa joined camp last week ahead of the competition.
In an interview last week, Tabitha, who is the Scorchers captain, said she was excited to be part of the Cosafa team alongside her sister.