Windhoek - Twelve Namibian referees have made it onto the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) referees list for 2020 subject to a fitness test.
Two officials, Nehemiah Shovaleka and Jonas Shongedi, will be the main two referees, while six assistants and four female match officials have also made the cut for 2020.
The assistant referees approved by FIFA are Mathew Kanyanga, Sem Singeve, Alex Lumponjani and Matheus Nevonga, who return for another year while Festus Shaningwa and Johannes Shinuna are the newcomers.
Former Brave Gladiator player, Vistoria Shangula, also makes the cut for 2020 after her maiden approval for 2019 and so did Astino Twanyakukwa while Eveline Augustinus is the newcomer on the list. Paulina Joel is the only female assistant referee for 2020.
The Namibia Football Association (NFA) referees coordinator, Absalom Goseb, confirmed the list and stated that 20 names were submitted to be considered by FIFA to officiate international matches as part of the 2020 referees’ panel.
Reining Namibia Premier League referee of the season, Shovaleka, retained his position on the list alongside Shongedi but Jackson Pavaza missed out.
“Pavaza is no longer a referee. He is now a referee assessor and instructor after years of running fields across Namibia and Africa,” said Goseb.
Referees nominated to the FIFA international referees list must pass fitness tests consisting of a series of 40-metre sprints, and an interval test consisting of 75-metre sprints and 2x 12,5-metre recovery walks.
Assistant referees nominated to the list must pass fitness tests consisting of a CODA drill, a series of 30-metre sprints and an interval test consisting of 75-metre sprints and 2x 12,5-metre recovery walks.
Members of the women’s list are only allowed to work men’s international matches if they have completed the men’s fitness tests.
A referee must be at least 25 years old on 1 January to be eligible for international referee listing nomination in that calendar year. An assistant referee is eligible at the age of 23 years.