Local refs get Chan assignment

HARARE - Zimbabwe referee Norman Matemera has been given the task to handle the 2018 Kenya African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifier return leg between Zambia and South Africa later this month at the Levi Mwanawasa Stadium.

Matemera will be the man in the middle of the park and he will be assisted by countrymen Thomas Kusosa, who will be the first assistant referee, with Salani Ncube coming in as the second assistant while Pilani Ncube will be fourth official.

The latest development is a clear sign of the Confederation of African Football’s confidence in local referees, after another local referee Nomore Musundire also officiated at last month’s Chan qualifier match between Mauritius and Angola.

Bafana Bafana host Chipolopolo at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London next Saturday in the first leg of the final round of the qualifiers to determine those who will reach the tournament to be held in Kenya next year January.

The South African national team made their way into the last round of the competition after they defeated Botswana 3-0 on aggregate while Zambia progressed to this stage after thumping Swaziland 7-0 on aggregate.

A total of 16 teams will qualify to play in the final tournament and national team players who are playing in their country’s own domestic league will be eligible to compete in the football showpiece.

Zimbabwe will for the first time miss out on the Chan tournament since its inception in 2009 after crashing out of the qualifiers at the hands of Namibia.

The Warriors lost the first leg in Windhoek 1-0 before winning the return leg by a similar scoreline at the National Sports Stadium.

With the aggregate scoreline tied at 1-1, Namibia progressed to the final stages of the qualifiers after winning the penalty shoot-out 5-4.

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