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Top referee in AFCON set up


Seabata Mahao

Prominent football assistant referee, Souru Phatšoane is among top match officials to undergo a preparatory training course for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

The training is scheduled for Ivory Coast from October 1-16, this year in anticipation of the continental showpiece slated for Ivory Coast from January 13 to February 11, 2024.

Phatšoane’s stock has been on the rise since he made his debut at the 2019 edition of AFCON held in Egypt.

Together with the South African duo of Victor Gomes and Zakele Siwela, he also officiated in the final of the 2021 AFCON tournament in Cameroon, becoming the first officials from southern Africa to achieve that feat.

The assistant referee’s remarkable journey continued with his appearance at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where he reached another milestone of being Lesotho’s first match official to officiate at the global showpiece.

PhatÅ¡oane 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 against 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, local referees geared for the start of the new season with a fitness test last weekend.

The assessment was organised by Lesotho Football Association’s (LeFA) referees’ department for all registered match officials coming from across the country.

The fitness test for both male and female referees is used to measure the physical condition of match officials. It consists of two tests namely; repeated sprint ability (RSA), which measures the referee’s ability to perform spirited sprints over 40 meters.

The second test is the interval test, which evaluates the referee’s capacity to perform a series of high speed runs over 75 miters interspersed 25 walking intervals.

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