WINDHOEK – Local football referees will once again be in action this weekend taking the whistle in the CAF Confederation Cup Group-A match between Angola’s InterClube and Sudanese club Al Ahly Shandy.
Fifa accredited referee Rainhold Shikongo will be assisted by Benedictus Nasheenda and Dawid Shaanika, while Andreas Helmut will be the 4th official for the August 19 clash in the Angolan capital Luanda. Shaanika said the quartet is looking forward to the challenge as local referees continue to feature more frequently in football matches on the African continent.
“We are enjoying every moment of it because it’s very challenging and one has to remain focused, but that is what we are doing and we work very hard to ensure that we do the right job at all times. The next level for us now is the CAF Champions League. We started from humble beginnings in these sort of competitions and with time and determination, we are hoping to get the big ones as well,” said Shaanika.
Sudanese teams dominate Group-A with Al Ahly Shandy, Al Hilal and Al Merreikh all involved alongside rank outsiders Angolan police outfit InterClube. Merreikh are the only side from the east African nation to lift a CAF trophy – the 1989 African Cup Winners Cup, while InterClube were unlucky losers to Morocco’s Maghreb in the semi-finals, last year.
Last time out in a Group A encounter, Al Merreikh beat InterClube 1-0 in Sudan, and El Hilal managed a narrow 2-1 win over local rivals Al Ahly Shandy. Each club face their three group opponents at home and away with the winners advancing to the semi-finals of the continental competition, which carries a US$660,000 first prize.