Kenya referee duo impress in CHAN

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 00:00 |
Mali’s captain and goalkeeper Djigui Diarra and Morocco’s captain Ayoub El Kaabi pose for a photograph with match officials ahead of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) final match at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde, Cameroon, on February 7, 2021. Photo/AFP

Barry Silah @obel_barry

Kenya’s refereeing duo of Peter Waweru and Gilbert Cheruiyot who recently handled the African Nations Championship (Chan) final in Cameroon between Mali and Morocco deserve all the plaudits due to their consistency, Football Kenya Federation Head of Referees Sylvester Kirwa has said.

The pair has received plaudits from Confederation of African Football (CAF) and fans at home for their handling of the duel on Sunday which saw Morocco beat Mali 2-0.

According to their boss, Waweru and Cheruiyot who are CAF Elite A referees are destined for greatness because of their commitment and desire to learn more about the game.

“The two were exemplary and I can attribute that to their consistency in their decisions right from the two preliminary matches they officiated.

I am sure this is what the CAF Appointments Committee looked at and as a refereeing body in Kenya, we could not be more proud. 

We have done a lot to get the best out of our referees and we liaise with CAF who continue to assist. 

“We are also appreciate the fact that our federation has helped us whenever necessary, particularly in training.”

We focus on development and areas like physical training and technical advancement. We also do collective assessments every six weeks organised by FKF.

For Cheruiyot and Waweru, it also boils down to individual improvement and this is a challenge to our many other referees in the country,” says the retired umpire in an interview with People Sport.

Kirwa also believes periodic training right from the grassroots is one area that can be of help to ensure referees are on top of their game. 

“Depending on funds availability, we can be able to do a lot. We have a lot of many developing referees that will go far. 

“People like Cheruiyot and Waweru can easily now go for bigger Fifa events given their pedigree and growth,” adds the former Elite A referee who was involved in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations that was held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

FKF currently has 246 referees operating in the top tiers of premiership, the super league and Division One across the country with eight elite members with CAF certification. 

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