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Phatsoane in more AFCON duties

Business

Seabata Mahao

The Confederations of African Football (CAF) has included prominent assistant referee, Souru Phatŝoane among match officials appointed to officiate at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, currently on-going in Ivory Coast.

This will be Phatŝoane’s third AFCON tournament in a row having made his debut at the 2019 edition hosted by Egypt.

The Tŝenola-born middleman has etched his name in the history books of the beautiful game not only in Lesotho but across the continent as he has officiated finals of all CAF major competitions, including the 2021 Confederations Cup, the finals of the CAF Champions League and the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, respectively.

Phatŝoane also became the first Lesotho referee to officiate at the FIFA World Cup after his appointment to officiate at the global showpiece played in Qatar in 2022.

Phatšoane officiated in a group D match between the then-defending champions France against Australia on November 22, 2022. He also took part in a Group E clash between Spain and Japan on December 1, 2022.     

Phatšoane’s appearance in Qatar was the fifth time in 2022 for a Lesotho referee to be part of match officials officiating in a final of a major regional or continental tournament.

Meanwhile, female elite referee, Nteboheleng Setoko, will also begin the year with a major assignment on her hands.

According to the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA), Setoko will participate as the Fourth Official for the Women’s Under-20 World Cup qualifier between Burundi and Nigeria scheduled for January 14 at the Dar Es Salaam Azam Complex Stadium, in Tanzania.

“The Lesotho elite female referee will be working alongside three South African match officials as well as the Match Commissioner and Assessor from Rwanda and Namibia respectively,” LeFA stated. 

Meanwhile, LeFA match officials went through the physical fitness test last week Sunday. The physical fitness tests were in preparation for the return to action of premier league football in the country following a short Christmas break.

The tests took place at Bambatha Tŝita Sports Arena and were open to all LeFA registered referees both male and female.

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