MASERU — Four Lesotho female referees have been appointed onto the Federation of International Football Association (Fifa) referees panel, the Sunday Express heard this week.
According to the referees’ coordinator, Paul Phomane, the four ladies are Nteboheleng Setoko, ‘Mathabo Kolokotoane, Puleng Mahomo and Polotso Maapara.
Setoko and Kolokotoane are currently officiating as central referees in the elite league while Mahomo is an assistant in the premier league and Maapara officiates as an assistant in the A division league.
These four ladies have increased the number of Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) referees in Fifa’s panel to 11.
Phomane said this is the first time in Lesotho’s history they have women referees representing them in the Fifa panel.
He said he believes this appointment will lure in more women into soccer when they notice that their efforts are recognised by bigger associations.
“Most women are not that much into football and I think the appointment of these four Ladies will drive more ladies to work hard and many into refereeing as they realise that their good work is also noticed,” Phomane said.
He said the recommendations of the officials are made by the national referees association based on the referee’s work and fitness levels.
“For referees to be appointed in Fifa panel they are recommended by the national association based on their work and fitness level,”
Phomane said four were chosen because in most cases when a referee has a Fifa fixture, he or she is usually assigned two assistants and a substitute referee from the same country.
Lefa’s secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, said as the football association the appointment of these ladies means a lot to them and it shows that they are finally getting there.
He said some time back they set a target as the national football association that they want to have representatives in every department in Fifa and this shows that they are slowly reaching their target.
“We set some goals as the association some time back and we are happy that we are slowly meeting them,” Mohapi said.