Zim referees attend Caf elite course

HARARE - Zimbabwean match officials Thomas Kusosa and Mercy Mayimbo recently completed a Confederation of African Football (Caf) training course for Elite “B” Referees to prepare them for the upcoming competitions and update their knowledge and skills in the conduct of their duties.

Kusosa, 31, is one of the leading assistant referees in the domestic league while Mayimbo, 28, is a torch bearer for many of the local female referees.

The five-day course was held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali with Jerome Damon (South Africa), Mohamed Guezzaz (Morocco), Aline Bitagoye (Burundi) and Mohamed Hussein Ali (Djibouti) as facilitators.

A total of 31 participants made up of 15 referees, 12 assistant referees and seven women referees including the women trio who will represent Caf during the Fifa U17 Women Championship took part in the course.

The main objectives of the five-day course were to prepare the referees for the upcoming Caf competitions, identify potential elite “A” referees, familiarise the participants with the new concepts of refereeing and identify potential candidates for Caf upcoming U20 and U17 final tournaments.

The participants went through medical and physical tests, while theoretical topics included evaluation and integrity test.

Zifa Referees Committee vice chairperson Gladmore Muzambi was full of praise for the duo who they hope will make the step up to be elite “A” panel on the continent.

“The selection of these young referees, both male and female for this elite course speaks a lot of our referee development programmes,” Muzambi told the Daily News.

“It is a panel formulated by Caf; they have two levels, the A panel and the B panel. By participating in this elite course, it gives our referees the stepping stone to go into the elite A panel.

“We have to appreciate the opportunity Caf has given to our referees and they can now officiate in Champions League, Confederation Cup and Afcon matches.”

With the game evolving every year, referees must also evolve in order to keep up with the pace.

“During the course, they learned a number of modern trends which are emerging in refereeing,” Muzambi said.

“Nowadays, the referee must be able to read the game; you must understand team formations as well.

“Ideally the referee has to know the team formation which gives him or her an insight on how the match is proceeding

If a team is playing a defensive formation the referee must be able to notice this which means you will be operating near the team’s penalty area.  

“When a team is using a 3-5-2 formation with most players congested in the midfield area, a referee must be able to notice this and position himself well near the action.”

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