▪️Malawian Fifa assistant referee Bernadette Kwimbira-Nzika has been appointed to handle CAF Champions League match between South Africa’s AmaZulu and Raja Casablanca in Durban, South Africa on Friday.
She will officiate the men’s game as second assistant referee alongside centre referee Lesotho’s Souru Phatsone, his compatriot David Retselitsoe as the fourth official while Botswana’s Joshua Bondo is the centre referee.
Kwimbira on duty
In an interview yesterday, Kwimbira-Nzika said she was proud to be picked for the job.
She said: “I will be the only woman in that set of referees. I am happy to be selected to officiate the game.”
Football Association of Malawi referees development officer Fred Kholopa said Kwimbira-Nzika’s appointment signified the trust that Confederation of African Football (CAF) has in her ability.
“Bernadette is doing well. For a woman to be selected to officiate games alongside such top men referees, shows that she is very good,” he said.
Kholopa also said the assignment would give the former elite athlete a platform to enhance her chances for a role at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.
Meanwhile, Fifa referee Easter Zimba is set to officiate his first match as a centre referee since his appointment two years ago when Lesotho host Seychelles in Durban on March 27 in an 2023 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) preliminary round qualifier.
Zimba will go alongside first assistant Clemence Kaduku, second assistant Jonasio Luwizi and Gift Chicco as fourth official.
Kwimbira-Nzika is Malawi’s most decorated Fifa referee having officiated at two Olympic Games, two Fifa Women’s World Cups and five Women’s Afcon finals.
She was also part of the first ever all-women refereeing team to officiate a match at a CAF senior men’s final tournament when she alongside Nigeria’s Mimisen Lyorhe and Ethiopian referee Ldya Tafesse Adebele took charge of a 2020 Africa Nations Championship (Chan) Group D match between Namibia and Tanzania.
She was also the only Malawian to officiate at the inaugural TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League between 5-19 November 2021 in Egypt.
The Zomba-based Fifa referee is also earmarked for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup finals to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.▪️