COSAFA will be conducting refereeing and coaching courses for women during the upcoming Cosafa Women’s Championship to be hosted by Zimbabwe in Bulawayo from September 13-24.
The targeted participants are the 16 referees that have been appointed to officiate in the tournament with 14 selected from Zimbabwe.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Cosafa general secretary Sue DeStombes confirmed the two courses during her three-day visit to inspect the facilities in Bulawayo, which she said Fifa had agreed in principle to facilitate.
“As we do normally with any of our tournaments, we try to take every opportunity to leave some kind of legacy. We have asked Fifa, which they have agreed in principle, to give us a referees’ course which will be for the 16 appointed for the tournament and an additional 14 from Zimbabwe. And those will be female referees,” DeStombes said.
She said coaches from the 11 participating nations Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and guests Kenya including the Mighty Warriors’ coach Sithethelelwe ‘Kwinji 15’ Sibanda and 18 other local women coaches will make up a class of 30 to take part in a coaching course.
“We will also have a coaching course for female coaches and that will be class of 30 that will include some or all of the 12 participating teams and the balance would be made up of local women coaches from Zimbabwe,” Destombes added.
Meanwhile Fifa’ refereeing instructor Felix Tangawarima, who is Cosafa referees’ manager for the upcoming tournament confirmed the referees’ course and said top female referees will take charge of next month’s competition.
“Cosafa is for development and in the process we have actually developed many male referees, some of them who have actually gone to the World Cup,” Tangawarima said. “The team of female referees who are coming to this tournament are top referees from our region of which five of them are World Cup candidates for next year, which means it’s a big development for us and for the ladies as well. The referees who are coming are officiating in male premiership league games in their respective countries.”
Presently there are no centre female referees for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.