By: Tagamuchira Chipelesa
The Football Association of Malawi has commended local Elite Referees for maintaining their fitness levels during COVID-19 that caused 8 months long football break.
FAM executive member and chairperson of the FAM Referees Subcommittee Rashid Ntelera said this after the majority of Elite referees passed the 2021 FIFA International Referees Panel Listing fitness test at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
“Out of the 35 referees that participated in the fitness test today, only two have failed”, said Ntelera
He said the referees’ performance during the fitness test is a proof that they were disciplined by adhering to individual trainings when sporting activities were suspended in the country.
“It’s very encouraging that most referees have passed the test and qualified to be considered for the FIFA list even though they were on individual training. We need to have our referees officiating international matches consistently because that exposure will raise our country’s football profile,” Ntelera advised
FAM Referees Development Officer Maxwell Mtonga said the fitness tests have improved the referees’ performance since all of them worked hard to make it on the FIFA list.
According to Mtonga, FAM is expected to conduct fitness tests for all the referees in the country in readiness for the 2020-21 football seasons.
The list of 15 referees selected for the 2021 FIFA International Referees Panel List is expected to be released by November 9, 2020.