Jani Sikazwe to officiate Burkina Faso – Algeria World Cup qualifier

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WHILE Zambian referees are subject of persistent abuse on the local front, the case is different at the international stage where they continue gaining recognition.

The world soccer governing body has appointed Jani Sikazwe to officiate the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Burkina Faso and Algeria.

Sikazwe will be the referee for the final round of qualifiers first leg match scheduled for Stade du 4-Août Stadium in Ouagadougou on October 12 and will be assisted by Emiliano dos Santos of Angola and Chadreque Marengula of Mozambique as first and second referees, respectively.

The fourth official is Joshua Bondo of Botswana, with Zoumaro Gnofame of Togo being the commissioner. The security officer is Abel Mbengue from Cameroun.

Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) communications manager, Erick Mwanza, said the appointment of Kapiri Mposhi-based referee, Sikazwe to officiate a high-level FIFA match was good for the country.

Mwanza said at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that Zambian referees, who sadly had been subject of molestation from fans, coaches and club officials, were doing a good job owing to the high level training that they undergo.

“The appointment of Sikazwe, who officiated a CAF Confederations Cup at the weekend, goes to show that our referees are highly rated, but surprisingly back home they are not held in the same esteem as they are subject of abuse,” he said.

Mwanza said it was in that line that the FAZ disciplinary committee had been summoned to meet tomorrow and deal with all matters related to the violence targeted at referees in the past weeks.

He said the committee had been implored to make strong cases and come up with maximum penalties against those found guilty of abusing referees and tarnishing the name of the game.

“We shall not sit back and tolerate such indiscipline in our football especially the recent attacks on referees.

“It is sad that fans are usually incited by the behaviour of coaches or club officials which should not be the case,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mwanza said Zambia has a second FIFA-registered Players Agent who passed the recently conducted examinations.

Mwanza said three candidates sat for the tests which saw only one person making the grade, but that the identity of the successful candidate would be revealed later.

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