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Sikazwe To Follow Gomes To Represent Africa At World Cup

Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe will follow Victor Gomes in being in charge of a FIFA World Cup match in Qatar on Wednesday.

Sikazwe, who made headlines for the wrong reasons in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon earlier this year, will officiate the Belgium vs Canada clash in the Group F at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan (21:00).

He will become the second referee from the tip of the African continent to officiate a World Cup match after Gomes was the man in the middle when world champions France beat Australia 4-1 in their World Cup opener in Group D against Australia at Al Janouk Stadium in Al Wakrah.  

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Sikazwe will be assisted by Jerson dos Santos of Angola as his first assistant, while Arsenio Marengula of Mozambique will be his second official.

Japan’s Yoshima Yamashita will be the fourth official in the match, in what will be the first meeting between the two nations in any competition.

Sikazwe, who is one of the respected officials alongside Gomes on the African continent, grabbed headlines in the AFCON finals in January in the match between Tunisia and Mali, ending it in the 86th minute.

He left everyone shocked in what was hot mid-day in Cameroon, with Tunisia players protesting the premature ending as they lost 1-0.

It was later discovered that he had suffered a heat stroke, leading him to miss the rest of the competition as that game was the only one he officiated.

However, the 43-year-old has officiated in some big matches on the continent and the world.

He was in charge when Real Madrid beat Kashima Antlers in the FIFA Club World Cup in the 2016/17 season. He also refereed the AFCON final in 2017 when Cameroon beat Egypt after extra-time.

Another was the CAF Super Cup in the 2017/18 season when Wydad Casablanca beat TP Mazembe. He was also in charge when Orlando Pirates lost the CAF Confederation Cup final on penalties to RS Berkane of Morocco in Nigeria in May.

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Story by Robin-Duke Madlala (@duke_robin).

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN.
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