Malawi’s Elite Assistant referee Bernadette Kwimbira has gone to Qatar for an elite match officials seminar ahead of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France this June.
The seminar, which will run between 2 and 7 February, aims to prepare the officials who will be considered for selection to officiate at the global showcase to be held between 7th June and 7th July.
FIFA in cooperation with the confederations recently developed a revised list of 35 referee and 69 assistant referee candidates – representing all six confederations and 56 countries – for the biggest tournament in women’s football.
Kwimbira is set to make her second FIFA World Cup appearance after she officiated at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. She has also officiated at top events among them the 2016 Rio Olympics and two African Women’s Nations Cup.
She said in an interview before her departure that she feels honoured to be part of the 13 elite referees selected from Africa for the training.
“ I will work very hard to ensure I do well during the seminal to convince the members of the FIFA Referees Committee of my skills and abilities during the assessments to make it into the final list for the World Cup,” said Kwimbira.
Just last week, Kwimbira was invited to officiate top international friendly matches in South Africa as the hosts warmed up for the World Cup against Sweden and Netherlands.
According to FIFA, the list of candidates takes into account several qualities, including game performances, football understanding and fitness, and for the first time at this stage of preparations for the Women’s World Cup, FIFA is announcing referee trios.
This allows the referees to prepare as a team throughout the build-up to the tournament, and thus helps to improve overall performances.
Former elite referee and FIFA’s Senior Manager of Refereeing Kari Seitz underlined the importance of the preparation for the selected match officials.
“FIFA takes the development of all FIFA officials, male and female, very seriously. Only a limited number of match officials will be selected to officiate in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and selection will be based 100 per cent on quality.”