For the first time, local referees on Tuesday registered 100 percent success in Fifa Physical Fitness Test for 2014 selection at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in the capital, Lilongwe.
The test, funded by the Football Association of Malawi (FAM), drew 42 referees from all the regions of the country.
Out of the 42, only six female referees participated.
Conspicuously missing, however, were Central Region prominent referees Jones Makuwira, Patrick Ngoleka and Symon Juvinala who excused themselves from the tests due to injury.
Retired prominent referees such as Bester Kalombo, Maxwel Mtonga and Moffat Champiti were part of the event’s facilitators.
Chairperson for the referees’ sub-committee at FAM, James Mwenda, said all the referees performed well.
“We are impressed so much with the pass rate. It seems the referees were really prepared for the test. In the past, referees viewed the test as punishment, but it seems now they realise that it is for their benefit. The turnout too was more than we expected,” said Mwenda.
Despite the success, Mwenda said the remaining challenge is tactical knowledge (theory).
“Our referees know how to run, but they lack the technical aspect. They do not know how to apply laws of the game during a match, which has created a bad reputation for our referees,” he said.
Mwenda said FAM has since engaged Bester Kalombo to conduct clinics in all the regions of the country.
“We had a meeting with him [Kalombo] and he is willing to assist in this area. Soon he will embark on a nationwide training programme,” he said.