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Phatšoane scores another first

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Leemisa Thuseho

LESOTHO referees’ committee coordinator, Mohau Sentšo, has expressed delight at the recent selection of top assistant referee Souru Phatšoane for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Representing COSAFA, Phatšoane was selected along with South Africa’s prominent central referee Victor Gomes and assistant referee Arsenio Marengula from Mozambique.

Sentšo described the selection as “a great achievement” for Phatšoane and the local footballing fraternity.

“It is good news for the refereeing department, the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) and the whole country because Phatšoane will be representing Lesotho,” Sentšo said.

He said the selection was a sign of Lesotho’s growth as footballing nation.

Sentšo said Phatšoane’s recent good work should be a challenge to other referees and inspire them to also work hard.

Phatšoane will become the first local referee to officiate at the Olympics. Before this, Phatšoane had already inked his name in the history books of football in the mountain kingdom when he became Lesotho’s first male referee to officiate at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt (2017) as well as the Under-17 World Cup in Brazil (2019).

LeFA president, Salemane Phafane, also congratulated Phatšoane for reaching yet another milestone.

“This is a massive achievement not only for football, or Phatšoane as an individual, but for the whole country. It shows that there is something we are doing right in our football to have a referee breaking all these records officiating in big competitions on the continent and globally in the last few years.

“He is a national asset and we are really humbled as LeFA to have produced a referee of his talents,” Phafane said.

The FIFA Referees Committee has appointed 99 match officials (25 referees, 50 assistant referees, 20 video assistant referees and four support referees) from 51 countries to officiate at the Olympics.

The Olympics were initially scheduled for July and August 2020 but were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They will now be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021.

 

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