The Malawi Football Association has commended local elite referees for maintaining their fitness levels during the eight-month football break affected by COVID-19.
FAM Executive Member and Chair of the FAM Referees Sub-Committee, Rashid Ntelera, said so today after the majority of elite referees passed the 2021 FIFA International Referees Panel Listing 2021 fitness test at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
One of the referees during the test
Of the 35 referees who took part in the test today, only two failed, namely referee Agnes Chamaere and referee Lameck Manda.
Ntelera said the referees' performance during the test was evidence that they were disciplined by adhering to individual training sessions when sporting activities in the country ceased
"It is very encouraging that most of the referees passed the test and qualified for the FIFA list despite having received individual training."
"We have to get our referees to consistently conduct international matches as this awareness will improve our country's football profile," said Ntelera
FAM referees development officer Maxwell Mtonga said the fitness tests had improved referees' performance as everyone works hard to make it onto FIFA's list.
According to Mtonga, the FAM will be running fitness tests for all referees in the country starting next week in preparation for the 2020-21 football season.
The list of the 15 referees selected for the FIFA International Referees Panel List 2021 is expected to be published on vember 9, 2020.