FIFA has named 36 referees from 46 different countries to officiate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, with six of them coming from the African continent.
Ugandan FIFA referee Mark Ssonko was among the 17 officials CAF had shortlisted among those nominated to officiate at the 2018 World Cup in Russia but he failed to make the cut.
Range Marwa from Kenya, Burundi’s Jean Claude Birumushahu and Sudan’s Ahmed Wareed were selected as assistant referees from the East African region, for the World Cup in which England will be without a refereeing representative for the first time in 80 years.
Preparations for appointing the referees kicked off in September 2014 not only for the 32 participating teams. FIFA based on each referee’s skills and personality, as well as his level of understanding of football and ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams.
Between now and the World Cup in June, the selected referees, assistant referees and Video Assistant Referees will be monitored and supported by FIFA Refereeing on an individual basis to ensure they are fully prepared.
The World Cup will take place in Russia between June 14th to July 15th. Africa will be represented by Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia.
Meanwhile, Ali Tomusange remains the only Ugandan referee to officiate at the World Cup, having officiated four games at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
Before Tomusange, Keith Bukenya was the first Ugandan to be selected to officiate at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, but he died a few months to the opening ceremony.
The 2018 Referees: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy), Damir Skomina (Slovenia), Clément Turpin (France), Felix Brych (Germany), Çakır (Turkey), Sergei Karasev (Russia), Norbert Hauata (Tahiti), Matthew Conger (New Zealand), Enrique Cáceres (Paraguay), Andrés Cunha (Uruguay), Néstor Pitana (Argentina), Sandro Ricci (Brazil), Wilmar Roldán (Colombia), Julio Bascuñán (Chile), Mark Geiger (United States), Jair Marrufo (United States), Ricardo Montero (Costa Rica), John Pitti (Panama), César Arturo Ramos (Mexico), Joel Aguilar (El Salvador), Malang Diedhiou (Senegal), Bakary Gassama (Gambia), Gehad Grisha (Egypt), Janny Sikazwe (Zambia), Bamlak Tessema Weyesa (Ethiopia), Mehdi Abid Charef (Algeria), Alireza Faghani (Iran), Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan), Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed (United Arab Emirates), Ryuji Sato (Japan), Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain), Alireza Faghani (Iran), Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan), Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed (United Arab Emirates), Ryuji Sato (Japan) and Fahad Al-Mirdasi (Saudi Arabia).