COSAFA Referees Hold Intense Training Ahead Of 2024 COSAFA Kickoff

Referees who will officiate in the Hollywoodbets Cosafa Cup 2024 from June 26 to July 7 have been put through their paces in Johannesburg over the previous several days, including match officials who will oversee the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology.

VAR will be used in Gqeberha beginning with the semifinals, but it will also be used as a teaching tool throughout the campaign, with officials using the system behind the scenes before the big game.

This includes some of the continent’s greatest match officials, from north to south, who will seize this fantastic opportunity to expand their training in the system as FIFA and CAF become more reliant on technology.

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Match officials who are not familiar with VAR will fall behind in future important continental and global events.

South Africa’s best referee, Abongile Tom, newly elected Cosafa Men’s Referee of the Year Jerson dos Santos from Angola, and Cosafa Cup guest nation Kenya’s Peter Waweru have all undergone VAR training.

Five female referees and assistant referees will also be put through their paces, including two of the continent’s top officials, Moroccan referee Bouchra Karboubi and Zambian assistant Diana Chikotesha, who was crowned Cosafa Female Referee of the Year at the annual awards ceremony last month.

Bouchra, Chikotesha, and Fatiha Jermoumi (all from Morocco) are preparing for the Olympic Games in Paris, which begin next month.

I will speak boldly about our VAR project as Cosafa,” Cosafa Referees Manager Felix Tangawarima said.

“Now that we have received our equipment from CAF, we want every Member Association within Cosafa to have VAR certified referees, so it does not impact us when it comes to CAF and Fifa appointments.

“Right now we are struggling because we don’t have many referees certified, so when it comes to the big games in CAF and Fifa, our match officials are not being appointed.

“So what we are trying to do is to bridge the gap between those who are certified and those who are not.

“We have made progress as Cosafa, I think we are the only zone on the continent who are doing this every year.

“This year three of our tournaments will have VAR, probably more than CAF will do.

“This project will have a big impact fit match officials in the Southern African region.

“The investment that the Cosafa secretariat has made in this project is huge and we want to make sure it is money well spent.

“We want to say that as a zone, we will be No 1 in terms of VAR in Africa.”

Match officials are being tested in Soweto, South Africa.

“We have some new referees encountering VAR for the first time and in this five-day training programme, which has been supported by Fifa, we are taking them through the process.

“We usually use around 22 match officials during a tournament and those that are here for the Cosafa CUP are new to VAR.

“Then we have another 14 who are certified already, and the reason why is that when we reach the last four teams (semifinals) we are going to be live on VAR.

“It is a requirement that we can only use certified VAR officials, so that is when they will come into play.

“CAF have seen the progress made by Cosafa in this training and have asked us to take their referees that are going to the Olympics and train with us.”



Sabelo Sibandze (Eswatini)

Lebalang Mokete (Lesotho)

Andofetra Rakotojaona (Madagascar)

Godfrey Nkhakananga (Malawi)

Patrice Milazare (Mauritius)

Mweshitsama Naftal (Namibia)

Keren Yocette (Seychelles)

Thabani Ruzario (Zimbabwe)

Brighton Chimene (Zimbabwe)

Ailton Carmelino (Angola)

Keabetswe Dintwa (Botswana)

Hillary Hambaba (Zambia)


Estanislau Prata (Angola)

Lucky Kegakologetswe (Botswana)

Mohamed Ibrahim (Comoros)

Zamani Simelane (Eswatini)

Trywell Nyirenda (Zambia)

Pondamali Tembo (Malawi)

Aswet Teeluck (Mauritius)

Kgara Mokoena (South Africa)

Alex Lumponjani (Namibia)


Peter Waweru (Kenya) – VAR/AVAR

Abongile Tom (South Africa) – VAR/AVAR

Arsenio Maringule (Mozambique) – VAR

Souru Phatsoane (Lesotho) – VAR

Jerson dos Santos (Angola) – VAR/AVAR

Dimbiniaina Andriatianarivelo (Madagascar) – VAR

Letticia Viana (Eswatini) – VAR/AVAR (Female)

Ahmad Heeralall (Mauritius) – VAR/AVAR

Maria Rivet (Mauritius) – VAR/AVAR (Female)

Diana Chikotesha (Zambia) – AVAR (Female)

Celso Alvacao (Mozambique – VAR

Mohamed Athoumani (Comoros) – VAR

Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco) – VAR/AVAR (Female)

Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco) – AVAR (Female)

James Emile (Seychelles) – AVAR

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