The Malawian most decorated female referee, Bernadettar Kwimbira-Nzika has been handed 2022 TotalEnergies Women African Cup of Nations Assignment as she among 4o referees that the African Football governing body, Caf has designated to officiate at the tournament scheduled between 2nd and 23rd July in Morocco.
This is the Sixth Women African Cup of Nations tournament for the Malawian Fifa referee as she has been to every edition since 2010 in South Africa.
Reacting to her appointment, Kwimbira-Nzika was over the moon.
She said, “I feel grateful that Caf still finds me worthy to be invited for tlbug tournaments being one of the few referees that have been on the Caf Elite A list for more than a decade now.”
Kwimbira-Nzika believes that her appointment will help her to share the knowledge she has as she will be interacting with other referees from across the Continent.
She said, “My going to Morocco is an opportunity to share my knowledge with other referees and to continue mentoring upcoming ones so I will be doing everything to serve the purpose. “
Out of 40 referees, 16 are the centre referee, 16 are assistant while 8 are Video Assistant Referees.
The hosts have produced 6 referees, Egypt has 5 referees, Tunisia 3, Mauritius 3, 2 are from Nigeria while Madagascar, DR Congo, Benin, Mauritania, Malawi, Zambia,South Africa, Namibia, Togo, Rwanda, eSwatini, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Burundi, have one each.
Other notable referees are Akona Zenith Makalima of South Africa, Chitokesha Diana of Zambia.
At the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand,
Kwimbira is among the 19 African referees from 15 CAF Member Associations that have been selected as prospective referees to officiate at the tournament.
In 2019, Kwimbira was among the 7 African Assistant Referees that officiated at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
In 2013, Kwimbira emerged the best performer at a joint Elite Men and Women Referees Course in Cairo, Egypt and in October and she was named the overall best among the 33 Top African Female Referees, who attended a 5-day CAF Elite ‘A’ Women Referees Course in Djibouti.
Malawi’s FIFA referee Bernadettar Kwimbira set another milestone in her refereeing career o when she was part of a first ever African trio to officiate a quarterfinal match at a Women’s Olympic Football tournament.
Kwimbira had been designated as the first assistant referee along-side centre referee Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda and Kenyan Mary Njoroge as second assistant referee for the second quarterfinal match between Great Britain and Australia. The fourth official was Alves Edina from Brazil.
It was the trio’s third game at the ongoing 2020 Olympic games after they officiated the first match of the tournament between Great Britain and Chile on July 21, 2021 and a group F encounter between Netherlands and China the previous day.
In January 2021, Kwimbira became the first woman to officiate a match at a CAF Men’s Senior national teams final tournament when she joined male referees in a CHAN match between Guinea and Namibia.
The Multi-award winning Kwimbira-Nzika has an enviable record, having officiated at 2015 and 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup, 2016 Olympic games, Women’s Senior Afcon, Women’s Under-20 World Cup and Youth Olympic Games.
The Fifa assistant referee, handled CAF Champions League match between South Africa’s AmaZulu and Raja Casablanca in Durban, South Africa.