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Phatšoane to officiate in the Saudi League


Chris Theko

Prominent Lesotho Football Association Assistant Referee Souru Phatšoane has been invited to officiate in the Saudi Arabian MBS League on November 26, 2021.

The feat will not be Phatšoane’s first taste of international show as he was, for instance, on Tuesday part of the officiating team for the decisive World Cup qualifier between Cameroon and Ivory Coast played in Duala.

In an invitation letter, the Saudi Arabian Federation said that they reached the decision after the advice of the Confederation of African Football.

“You may be aware that some matches in the MBS league and the Kings Cup in Saudi Arabia are officiated by invited referees from around the world. The Saudi Arabian Football Federation invites referees that we feel do an excellent job and have been recommended in this instance by CAF.

“The MBS league is a competitive competition and is an excellent environment for referees to develop their skills,” the invitation from the Saudi Arabian Federation said.

In recent years, local officials have gone on to make mark and impact at international platforms despite the slow level of the game in the local setting.

This is reiterated by the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) which has recognized that in the past decade Lesotho’s football officials have earned international glory.

LeFA Secretary-General Mokhosi Mohapi is quoted referring to this development in one of the articles in this issue (see story on…) where he points out that he predicted it and now it is happening.   

This is not the first international assignment for the top referee as he was amongst a list of match officials for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games staged in Japan from July to August. 

He was also the first referee from Lesotho to officiate at the Africa Cup of Nations (2017) as well as the under-17 World Cup held in Egypt (2019). 

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