Football Association of Malawi-FAM says “the ceiling is the brain” for more local referees to make it on the international scene.
FAM Referees Development Officer Maxwell Mtonga said this as Malawian Elite FIFA female Assistant Referee Bernadettar Kwimbira is among 34 female referees to attend a five-day online Confederation of African Football-CAF Women Elite A Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Course between 1-5 October 2020.
Mtonga says what Kwimbira is today is possible for many local referees as long as they have a brain and think they have what it takes to make it to the top.
“The brain is the bottom line. The ceiling is the brain. If you think very high and you have the capacity, there is no limitation. The limit itself is the brain. If you have the brain, it doesn’t matter whether you are a woman or a man.” Mtonga said.
In March this year, Kwimbira attended a five-day Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Course in Rabat, Morocco together with Ethiopian referee Abebe Lybia Tafesse and Nigerian Assistant Referee Mimisen Iyorhe in preparation for the 2020 African Nations Championship-CHAN Competition which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month CAF issued a statement stating that the CAF Refereeing Department and Technical Board of Experts had decided to maintain their schedule for the training programmes approved at the beginning of the year with the option of virtual seminars to monitor the progress of the match officials and prepare them for future competitions.
CAF Refereeing Director, Eddy Maillet told CAF Online that the online courses will be intensive just as the regular in-person seminars adding the only thing missing will be the usual fitness tests of participants.
Five courses commenced from 22 August 2020 and will end on 5th October 2020 with each seminar attracting participants between 40 and 60.
Topics to being discussed include New Refereeing Concepts, Amendments to the Laws of the Game, Handball Incidents, Video Assistant Referees (VAR), Match & Video Analyses, Offside Rule, Penalty Area Incidents and Tactical Fouls.
Course supervision is in the hands of seasoned instructors namely Celestin Ntagungira (Rwanda), Jerome Damon (South Africa), An Yan Lim Kee Chong (Mauritius), Malang Diedhiou (Senegal), Noumandiez Doue (Cote d’Ivoire), Tempa Ndah (Benin), Hadqa Yahya (Morocco) and Neji Jouini (Tunisia).
Additional reporting by Sports Writers Association of Malawi (SWAM)