World football governing body FIFA recently unveiled the list of African referees who will officiate at the FIFA World Cup’s 22nd Edition. There will be eight officials from Africa selected for the much-awaited football tournament to be held in Qatar later this year in November.
FIFA snubbed Kenya because of the FIFA ban enforced because of government interference. The Kenyan government disbanded the Football Kenya Federation and installed a caretaker committee in an attempt to sort out the federation.
However, this will not stop Kenyans from following the tournament closely despite the country not featuring in the tournament. One of the ways they will fully participate in the biggest football show in the world is through sports betting. If you are planning to bet on the World Cup matches, you can browse through the current ranking of local bookmakers in Kenya to identify the ones you will be using at the tournament. Fortunately, there is an impressive list of local bookmakers to choose from.
Each of the eight referees comes from a different African nation. The most notable inclusion is Janny Sikazwe of Zambia, the referee who controversially ended the AFCON match between Mali and Tunisia. Kenya and the other East African nations will not have a representative.
Meanwhile, other top African referees selected by FIFA include Victor Gomez from South Africa, Jean Jacques Ndala from Congo, and Algeria’s Mustapha Ghorbal. On the other hand, Redouane Jiyed will represent Morocco.
It’s a unique World Cup
This year’s World Cup is unique in the sense that it will be the first World Cup hosted in the Middle East. Moreover, it will be the second time the World Cup has been hosted entirely in Asia after Korea/Japan hosted the 2002 tournament.
The tournament will run from 21st November until 18th December. The tournament organizers had to switch the dates because of Qatar’s intense summer heat.
FIFA has also released the World Cup groups, which have created interesting pairings. For instance, Sadio Mane will come up against his Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk of the Netherlands. This is after eliminating his fellow striker Mohamed Salah of Egypt in the qualifying matches for the World Cup.
The Full List
Here is the full list of African referees selected to officiate World Cup matches this year:
- Redouane Jiyed–Morocco
- Mustapha Ghorbal – Algeria
- Victor Gomez–South Africa
- Papa Bakary Gassama–Gambia
- Maguette N’diaye – Senegal
- Tessema Balmak – Ethiopia
- Janny Sikazwe – Zambia
- Jean Jacques Ndala – RD Congo