SA refs excited to officiate at Afcon

2014-12-21 15:00

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South Africa has maintained its regular presence on the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) referees’ panel.

This week, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) named Victor Gomes and Zakhele Siwela in its 44-man group of match officials who will blow the whistle and run the lines at the tournament in Equatorial Guinea next month.

The duo are over the moon about their appointments and have vowed to raise the country’s flag high.

South Africa is one of nine countries with two officials, though Senegal will have four.

Gomes said he was looking forward to his maiden tournament.

“It is an honour and it shows growth on my side as I have come through the ranks. I will represent my colleagues and the country with pride,” he said.

He said he learnt a lot from officiating at the African Nations Championship earlier this.

“I got some good tips from Jerome [Damon, former international referee] about officiating in this tournament.”

Siwela (33) said he was also looking forward to the tournament.

He would be happy to officiate more matches. “I have learnt a lot from previous tournaments and I want to go there and better my previous performance,” said the Alexandra-born assistant referee.

The duo have featured regularly in the CAF Champions League, the Confederations Cup and the Afcon qualifiers this year.

The retired Damon – a veteran of four Afcon finals and two Fifa World Cups – believes the pair will make the country proud.

His advice to them is to enjoy it and not put themselves under unnecessary pressure.

“They must just make sure they get big decisions correct and never be overwhelmed by the occasion,” he said.

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