Twenty nine referees and assistant referees have been selected by CAF to undergo a preparatory course to fine-tune their readiness for the upcoming Total U-17 Africa Cup of Nations 2019 in Tanzania.
The selected match officials, made up of 15 referees and 14 assistant referees from 25 member associations, will go through medical screening, theoretical and physical drills in their quest to make the list for the final tournament.
Ugandan FIFA referee Mashood Ssali is among those selected for the exercise that will see the excelled referees officiate at the final tournament scheduled for 14-28 April 2019 in Tanzania.
Ssali Mashood attended the CAF Elite B referee’s course in September 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Ssali and other selected officials will undergo a training course in Casablanca, Morocco from 31st March to 4th April 2019, to fine-tune for the tournament.
A trailblazing decision will also for the first time see women referees handling games of the opposite sex on the continent, debuting at the continental show-piece.
The landmark conclusion was the highlight of the CAF Referees Committee meeting held on 26 February 2019 at the CAF Headquarters in Cairo, and had in attendance CAF President Ahmad Ahmad.
The historic decision is a testament to CAF’s commitment to developing the women’s football. It will also give women match officials a bigger platform to expose their talents and also gain experience at the competitive level considering the limited matches and competitions, which often affects their progress and development.
In line with that, the trailblazers consist of Tanzanian referee Jonesia Rukyaa Kabakama, and assistant referees’ Mary Wanjiru Njoroge (Kenya) and Lidwine Rakotozafinoro (Madagascar) are among the preselected 29-match officials.
For the final tournament, host Tanzania, Nigeria, Angola and Uganda are in Group A, whilst Guinea, Cameroon, Morocco and Senegal constitute Group B. The semi-finalists will qualify to represent the continent at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.