LESOTHO’S top assistant referee, Souru Phatšoane, has made history after he was recently announced among 30 assistant referees who will be officiating at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament to be held in Egypt starting later this month and ends in July.
The humble Phatšoane becomes the first Mosotho referee to officiate in a tournament of this magnitude.
Phatsoane told the Sunday Express that he was happy with his appointment and grateful that his hard work finally paid off.
“I am happy for this appointment, it means a lot for me,” Phatsoane said.
“This is an honour and I am also happy that at least the hard work is finally paying off. This has been my dream and I am grateful to have finally made it.”
Phatsoane said the fact that he has achieved the fete means anyone else can also make it.
“Anybody can have a similar chance as I did. What’s important is to keep working hard.
The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) president, Salemane Phafane, released a statement congratulating Phatšoane for his milestone.
“We congratulate Phatsoane for this achievement of being appointed to be one of the referees who will be officiating at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in Egypt,” read the statement.
In March this year, Phatšoane attend a week-long video assistant referee (VAR) workshop in South Africa.
The VAR system was first introduced during the FIFA under-20 World Cup in South Korean in 2017 and was a great success at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
CAF has now embarked on a mission to ensure that its top referees are well equipped with the system that was designed to assist the referee with decision making during matches and is set to make its debut at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt from June to July.
Earlier this year, Phatšoane officiated in CAF Category A matches and also oversaw a match between FC Platinum from Zimbabwe against Esperance of Morocco.