FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) president, Kalusha Bwalya says Zambians should be proud of having a referee of Janny Sikazwe’s pedigree, who is now officiating at the highest level of African football.
Sikazwe, who has handled two matches in Equatorial Guinea this year, will be the fourth official in tonight’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final match between Ivory Coast and Ghana in Bata.
Kalusha said in an interview in Equatorial Guinea capital, Malabo yesterday that Sikazwe was a talented referee and had done well so far in his career.
The FAZ chief said he felt that the Kapiri Mposhi-based referee was improving each year and predicted an even brighter future for Sikazwe. Kalusha said Zambians should therefore be proud to have a match official of Sikazwe’s pedigree.
“Janny Sikazwe has done well, very talented. I feel he is improving each year. He has a bright future. Zambia should be proud of having a referee of his pedigree,” Kalusha, who is also a Confederation of African Football (CAF) committee member, said.
The 1988 African Footballer of the Year, however, said Zambia had produced good referees over the years and that Sikazwe was such an example.
“But Zambia has always produced very good referees over the years from the time I started to play football. He (Sikazwe) is a good example of our people,” said Kalusha, who is assured of retaining his CAF post in April after facing no opposition from Southern Africa.
CAF appointed Gambian Bakary Papa Gassama as referee for the 30th AFCON final match between Ivory Coast and Ghana with Djibril Camara of Senegal and Sudan’s Waleed Ahmed Ali being the assistants.
Sikazwe whose last 2015 AFCON assignment was a quarter-final clash between Ghana and Guinea, was chosen as the fourth official.
He also presided over the Group D opening fixture between Cameroon and Mali.
Retired assistant referee Kenneth Chichenga also used to fly the Zambian flag at the AFCON in the past.
Female referee, Gladys Lengwe is another outstanding match official in Zambia, having officiated at the 2014 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica and the 2014 African Women Championship in Namibia.
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