SA match officials in high demand

EXPERIENCED Daniel Bennett might be selected to officiate at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Picture: Gallo Images
EXPERIENCED Daniel Bennett might be selected to officiate at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Picture: Gallo Images

Referee Daniel Bennett could get a chance to reverse the setback he experienced during the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

The former South African referee of the year’s dream was shattered after he was ruled out of the event because of injury.

Bennett was selected as support whistle man for the global football spectacle but was sent back home after sustaining the injury.

Next week Bennett, together with Victor Gomes and assistant referee Zakhele Siwela, will jet out to Cairo in Egypt for an elite referees’ workshop, organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

According to the SA Football Association’s head of referees, Peter Sejake, the seminar will be used to select match officials for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

Sejake said the invitation gave credence to the belief that South African match officials were sought after on the continent and worldwide because of their sound reputations.

He had no doubt the trio would hoist the country’s flag high.

“We do not doubt our officials’ abilities, and I am confident they will do the country proud. Our guys have been all over the continent recently and the feedback we have received has been positive,” said Sejake.

“They have been good ambassadors for the country and we wish them luck at the workshop.”

Bennett and Siwela were in Egypt on Friday for the CAF Champions League semifinal clash between Zamalek and Wydad Athletic Club in Alexandria. They will return – this time to attend the course in Cairo – on Wednesday.

A fortnight ago the two were in Tunisia handling the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the host country and Liberia.

And at month end, referee Victor Hlungwane is off to Cameroon for the CAF Under-17 qualifier against Sudan.

He will have assistants Thembisile Windvoel and Sandile Dilikane by his side while handling the game.

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