Elite football referees Agnes Chamaere and Lameck Manda failed fitness tests to secure a slot of 2021 FIFA International Referees Panel Listing, Football Association of Malawi has confirmed.
The pair attended the 2021 FIFA International Referees Panel Listing fitness test held on Saturday at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe alongside 33 others.
FAM executive committee member Rashid Ntelera said the two attended the fitness test but did not meet the required physical standards.
Chamaere and Manda remain on list of elite referees and will now retake their tests in the upcoming fitness tests for all the referees in the country in readiness for the 2020-21 football season.
“All is not lost for these referees because they still stand a chance to retake their FIFA fitness test once such an opportunity avails itself in the near future”, Ntelera said.
Despite failing to achieve a 100 percent pass rate, the FAM Executive Committee member praised the local Elite Referees for maintaining their fitness levels during the COVID-19 influenced eight month long football break .
He said the referees’ performance during the 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,” said Ntelera.
FAM Referees Development Officer Maxwell Mtonga said the fitness tests have improved the referees’ performance since all of them work hard to make it on the FIFA list.
Meanwhile, the list of 15 referees selected for the 2021 FIFA International Referees Panel List is expected to be released by November 9, 2020.
In a related development, Mtonga, FAM will from next week conduct fitness tests for all the referees in the country in readiness for the 2020-21 football season.