FIFA has approved a request by the Lesotho Football Association for 11 of its referees to receive the prestigious FIFA badges for 2022.
The approval means that the 11 will soon start receiving appointments to officiate in international matches across the globe.
On the list of officials to get FIFA badges are five central referees, among them two females. There are also six assistant referees, two of whom are women. The list was approved by FIFA on 18 and 19 December 2021. This after LeFA had submitted its request in September in time for the 1 October deadline.
“FIFA has released a list of the LeFA referees that are certified to officiate in official international matches for 2022,” LeFA said in a statement on Monday.
“The list approved by FIFA includes the country’s top assistant referee Souru Phatšoane, who left the country on Sunday to officiate in the Africa Cup of Nations that gets underway in Cameroon next week.”
‘Mathabo Kolokotoane made a return to the international stage after losing his spot in 2021 while Fumane Mokhethi is the only one who lost her spot from last year’s list.
The male central referees on the list are Osiase Koto, Lebalang Mokete and Retšelisitsoe Molise, while the females are Kolokotoane and Nteboheleng Setoko. The male assistant referees are Phatšoane, Lesupi Puputla, `Mapoho Mapoho and Siza Dlangamandla while the females are Puleng Mahomo and Polotso Maapara.
Last year, Lesotho also had 11 FIFA recognised referees, which according to LeFA referees’ coordinator, Mohau Sentšo, is Lesotho’s quota.
“Lesotho has only 11 slots in the referees’ selection for any particular year. However, the number can still increase based on the standard of our premier league.
“Despite having only 11 slots, we do send a larger pool of officials in the order of their local rankings,” Sentšo told the Lesotho Times this week.
Meanwhile, the referees’ committee will on Sunday host a referees’ fitness test at Setsoto Stadium to prepare them for the resumption of football activities. Vodacom Premier League matches are expected to resume on 15 after the three-week Christmas break.