WINDHOEK – This year Gottlieb Matheus, Leston Nangombe and Jackson Pavaza are the only three Namibian referees that are eligible to referee international football matches, as opposed to the ten officials the country had last year on the Fifa panel.
Nangombe in fact already featured in club action last weekend when he officiated at a clash between Desportiva Muculmana of Mozambique and Rwanda’s Armée Patriotique in Mozambique, during the 19th edition of the CAF Champions League preliminary round.
In that match, Nangombe was assisted by compatriots Isaaskar Boois, Christof Vries and Gottlieb Matheus as assistant referees.
Matheus was the fourth or reserve referee for the match.
The aforementioned are part of the international match officials for 2015 with others being Jonas Kambode and Lucas Nangolo – for men’s football. Former Brave Gladiators captain Queen Manga also returned to football after being absent in 2014 and she is now eligible to officiate at international women’s football games.
Namibia Football Association (NFA) Referees Manager, Boy-Boy Ndjadila congratulated those who made the FIFA panel and called on others to follow suit. “We have so much potential in this country and it is just a matter of being disciplined and committed. We had ten last year … so we need more effort from the lads.”
Last year, the late Reinhold Shikongo was among the ten match officials who made the FIFA list together with Eneas Shikongo, Helmut Andreas, Jonas Shongedi, David Shaanika, Benedictus Nashenda, Matheus Kanyanga, Isaskar Boois, Alfeus Shipanga and Hendrick Swartbooi.
Ndjadila challenged local coaches to acquaint themselves with laws of the game and not risk bringing the game into disrepute due to a lack of knowledge.
“The NFA referees that handle NPL matches are well equipped and based on our analyses, it is coaches that need to understand the laws of the game, especially simple things like a referee’s optional time,” says Ndjadila in reference to claims that refereeing in the NPL matches last weekend was not fair.