Dr. Peter Waweru Kamaku and Gilbert Cheruiyot have put the right foot forward and are hoisting the Kenyan flag high on the continent through the profession.
Dr. Waweru will be in the VAR booth while Cheruiyot will serve as an assistant referee.
The duo were picked to officiate in the tournament among 64 other officials from various countries.
AFCON was pushed to 2022 due to Covid-19 and kicked off on 9th January 2022 and will run until February 6.
Waweru, a University lecturer at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology made history as the first Kenyan centre referee at the continental showpiece when he handled the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tie between Ivory Coast and Namibia in Egypt on July 1, 2019.
Waweru, who has in the past officiated in the CAF Champions League having been also picked for the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, in Niger holds a doctoral degree in Pure Mathematics.
Cheruiyot on the other hand began his continental journey in 2015 when he officiated at the Caf Under-17 tournament in Niger before heading to Rwanda the following year for the 2016 Africa Nations Championships (CHAN).
In 2017, Cheruiyot,36, was accredited referee by FIFA with CAF Elite ‘A’ rank to his name and was among the match officials who officiated the CAF Under-20 tournament in Zambia.
Cheruiyot, also officiated at the 2019 AFCON tournament in Egypt after being included among the 30 assistant referees for the competition.
The towering official, who doubles up as a teacher at Moi Academy Baringo, Cheruiyot was picked to officiate in the men's football tournament at the Tokyo Olympics.
In 2018, Cheruiyot was named as the most improved assistant referee in FKF Premier League (SPL).
The Cameroon tournament will also see female match officials in charge in a ground-breaking achievement.
The female quartet of Salima Mukasanga (Rwanda), Carine Atemzabong (Cameroon), Fatiha Jermoumi and Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco) continue their trailblazing achievements.
They officiated at the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 and also at the African Nations Championship 2020 (CHAN).
Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga will make history at the African Cup of Nations as the first woman to ever officiate at the tournament.
The 33-year-old is already an experienced and well-respected official in the women’s game, taking charge of matches at the Women’s World Cup, Africa Women’s Cup of Nations and the CAF Women’s Champions League.
Mukansanga also served as a referee in the women’s football event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Atemzabong and Jermoumi are appointed assistant referees while Karboubi will be the Video Assistant Referee.
Morocco dominates the list of match officials selected with eight qualifying to officiate the 33rd edition of the African Football Confederation CAF tournament.
They are Samir Gueezzaz, Adil Zourak, Bouchra Karboubi, Azgaou Lahcen, Akerkad Mustapha, Zakaria Brinsi and Jermoumi Fatiha. Other countries producing referees are Algeria and Egypt with five each with Senegal 4, Tunisia and Cameroon both produce three each.
DRC, Seychelles and South Africa two each with the same number from CONCACAF. Ethiopia, Gambia, Zambia, Mali, Botswana, Angola, Ghana, Burundi, Mauritania, Rwanda, Mauritius, France, Sudan, Nigeria, Mozambique, Lesotho, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Djibouti, Chad, Niger, Libya, Uganda, Guinea, Comoros, both have one referee.
In the 24 team tourney, reigning champions Algeria will be looking to defend the crown that they won in 2019 after condemning Senegal to defeat in the final that was played in Egypt.
The 28th ranked nation in the FIFA rankings is pooled in a tough group E alongside Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Group A comprises the host Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Ethiopia with Group B comprising Guinea, Malawi, Senegal and Zimbabwe.
Group C brings together Comoros, Gabon, Ghana and Morocco while Group D has North African teams, the Pharaoh Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Sudan.
While Group F has Gambia, Mali, Mauritania and Tunisia.