Two top South African international referees will be among the panel of referees who will officiate at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Multi-award winning referee, Victor Gomes, and respected match official, Zakhele Siwela, were earlier this year confirmed as part of the panel of referees who will officiate in Qatar.
The two, who started their football refereeing careers more than two decades ago, are an inspiration to many who would like to pursue a career in football refereeing.
For the next five weeks, the top footballing nations in the world will battle it out for football’s most prized accolade in Qatar.
And while Bafana Bafana will once again not be there, South Africa will have representatives with two of its top international referees on the panel of officials.
Victor Gomes, and Zakhele Siwela, will be on the panel in Qatar. Siwela says officiating at the world’s biggest soccer spectacle, is a reward for hard work.
“I started when I was young first I wanted to be a football player but after some time I decided I want to be a referee and since then I have being officiating and worked with victor gomes and officiated at some of big tournaments.”
Meanwhile, Siwela has joined calls for local football authorities to start the use of Video Assistant Referee technology or VAR, in the domestic league. There were two contentious calls made by referees in the recent Soweto derbies where, with the help of VAR, the correct decision could have been made.
The first one was in the DSTV premiership clash. Chiefs scored a goal which some felt should have been disallowed as a foul had been committed to a Pirates player when he was dispossessed of the ball.
Then on Saturday in the Carling Cup, a legitimate goal by Chiefs’ Ashley du Preez was disallowed with the forward adjudged to have been offside when replays showed he wasn’t.
“We scored a goal if I am not mistaken, but that was a goal, from where I was that was a goal definitely so. It’s one of those thing where you will score a goal and lose on penalties.”
“VAR helps in minimising human error so in the country it would help a lot and for us now going to the World Cup we had to leave early so we can do a crash course before the World Cup starts.”
VAR technology will be used for the second time at a FIFA World Cup after it was first used four years ago in Russia.