The world football governing body, FIFA has approved 15 Malawian referees for the 2021 International Referees Panel.
According to a statement by Football Association of Malawi (FAM) on Wednesday, the list includes six centre referees and nine assistant referees.
The centre referees are Ishmael Chizinga, Mercy Kayira, Godfrey Nkhakananga, Eness Gumbo, Gift Chicco and Easter Zimba.
Bernadettar Kwimbira, Clemence Kanduku, Happiness Mbamdambanda, Innocent Kaundula, Edward Kambatuwa, Elia Sichinga, Jonizio Luwizi, Joseph Nyauti and Evance Msonda are the assistant referees FIFA has certified for the year.
Msonda is the only new face on the list having replaced late Ibrahim Mafuleka who passed on in March last year.
FAM Referees Development Officer Maxwell Mtonga said the referees have been maintained on the FIFA list since there were no enough activities last year to measure their performance due to Covid-19.
“We are pleased that FIFA has confirmed the names of referees we recommended for the 2021 FIFA international panel.
“They had earlier indicated that we should bring back the referees who were on the panel for 2020 because there was less activity because of the Covid-19 pandemic so they have been retained after they had passed the fitness test that we conducted in October last year,” Mtonga said.
The development comes at a time when some Super League teams have complained of poor officiation by the whistlers.
On Tuesday, Ekwendeni Hammers through their general secretary, Ackim Lutepo wrote the league managers highlighting some of the incidences they were let down in by the incompetence by the men and women in black uniform.