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Kenya snubbed as FIFA names eight African referees for World Cup

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, left, and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani greet each other during the 2022 soccer World Cup draw at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Doha, Qatar, Friday, April 1, 2022. AP

World football governing body FIFA have snubbed Kenya as the East African nations will have no referee to officiate at the World Cup.

FIFA has selected eight referees from Africa to officiate in the upcoming 2022 World Cup slated to be played in November-December in Qatar.

No Kenyan official was picked owing to the ongoing FIFA ban.

Kenya was banned after the government’s decision to disband the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and install a caretaker committee in its place.

Seven of the eight referees selected are among the 10 referees who officiated the African Qualifiers of the 2022 World Cup Playoffs in March.

Interestingly, famous Zambian whistleblower Janny Sikazwe who is remembered for prematurely blowing the whistle on two occasions during Tunisia vs Mali’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations clash has made the list.

South African Victor Gomez, Ethiopian Tesssema Balmak, Gambian Papa Gassama, Algerian Mustapha Ghorba, Moroccan Redouane Jiyed, Senegalese Magutte Ndiaye and Democratic Republic of Congo Jean Jacques Ndala complete the list of African referees for Qatar 2022.

Tessema, Gassama, Sikazwe were present in the last World Cup edition held in Russia back in 2018.

The 22nd edition of the World Cup will start in Qatar, Doha on the 21st November and end on 18 December 2022.

African Referees Selected for 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria)

Redouane Jiyed (Morocco)

Papa Bakary Gassama (Gambia)

Tesssema Balmak (Ethiopia)

Victor Gomez (South Africa)

Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)

Maguette N’diaye (Senegal)

Jean Jacques Ndala (RD Congo)