Pretoria-One of South Africa’s young and upcoming refereeing officials, Zakhele Siwela, has been nominated to represent the country at the FIFA under 17 Men’s World Cup tournament.
The world showpiece is scheduled to take place in Mexico from 18 June until 10 July 2011.
The 28-year-old Siwela has been hailed as one of the best assistant referees in South Africa, and has made several top appearances in international competitions.
Last year he officiated at the CAF Champions League Final in Tunisia, and was running the line in the final of the recently completed 17th Orange African Youth Championships that took place in Dobsonville last month.
Head of the referees department at the South African Football Association (Safa), Adeel Carelse, said he was proud of Siwela’s achievements.
Carelse said: “This is a good sign that our development plan is bearing fruit and an endorsement in the ability of producing young as well as world class referees.
“Our exposure in the African tournaments has contributed immensely towards the development of young referees.
“We are still forging ahead with more development because we cannot rest on our laurels, the aim is to be among the best on the continent and I believe we are well on track.
“Our policy in the training and development of referees has been put in place, and this serves as part of our five year development plan we put in place to see as many as 35 officials in the National Panel of referees and see our retiring referees assume positions as Match Commissioners and even Referee Assessors.”
Carelse further said in line with the development courses put in place, the referees department has seen as many as 420 referees trained at Local Football Associations in 20 Safa regions since March.
Gauteng will be host to the next referees’ development course set to take place at SAFA House from Monday 23 until 26 May.
The Seventy participants invited are lower league referees from one of the six regions within Gauteng namely: Safa Sedibeng, West Rand, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Metsweding and Ekurhuleni. -BuaNews