Top Zimbabwean Referees Fail Fitness Test

The two no longer qualify to handle international matches having been on the Fifa panel for a number of years. Referees on the Fifa panel handle all international matches including African Cup of Nations, and World Cup qualifiers, the Caf Champions League as well as the Caf Confederations Cup.

Tangawarima said the two have failed the fitness test which comprises of 70 percent practical work and 30 percent theory. The record breaking six time winner of the Zimbabwe referee of the year award said Fifa are now concentrating more on practical work because they want to see the actual performance of the referee during the tests.

The vice president of the Zimbabwe Football Association, Kenney Marange, a renowned referee, and Brighton Mudzamiri assisted Tangawarima in conducting the fitness test.

Every year Fifa conducts fitness tests on referees whose names are submitted by their football federations to handle international matches.

Although those who fail the Fifa fitness tests are disqualified from handling the money spinning international matches, they can still officiate in matchers involving the top football teams in their respective countries.

Zimbabwe has 15 referees and assistant referess on the Fifa panel.

Zimbabwe has a proud referees record in international football with Tangawarima having been at the African Cup of Nations finals on a number of occasions and is famous for the red card he issued to then Nigerian superstar Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha at the 2002 African Cup of Nations.

Tangawarima is now employed on full time basis as Fifa Referees instructor for the southern African region.

On his part, Mudzamiri also officiated at the 2004 Confederations Cup, a tournament that groups together all the top footballing nations from the globe.

Mudzamiri has now retired and is now a referee’s instructor in Zimbabwe.