Sikazwe picked for next phase of FIFA 2018 world cup

By Staff Reporter

Zambian Super League top referee Janny Sikazwe has been picked for the next phase of the ongoing FIFA 2018 World cup in Russia.

According to a statement released by FIFA shortly after midnight Zambian time, the number of Match officials has been reduced from 112 to 64 in which Sikazwe together with Senegalese Malang Diedhiou are the only African match officials that have made the new list.

Sikazwe has been the center referee in the matches between Belgium and Panama as well as Japan vs Poland and is scheduled to be the fourth official in the Quarter final match between hosts Russia and Croatia which will be played at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi on Saturday.

Fifa has, therefore, selected 17 referees, 37 assistant referees and 10 Video Assistant Referees (VARs) for the final phase.

Pierluigi Collina, the Committee’s head, told reporters in Moscow that this was because the number of referees at the 32-day competition has to be reduced at this point in time.

“These are in the quarter-finals (four matches), the semi-finals (two matches), third-place or losers’ final (one match) and final (one match).Only eight matches are involved in this number of matches also.So, there is, therefore, a need for a reduction in the number,’’ said Collina

Collina said the 17 referees picked for the next phase include Alireza Faghani (Iran) and Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain) from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Malang Diedhiou (Senegal) and Janny_Sikazwe (Zambia) from the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

“From the Confederation of Central American and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF) are Mark Geiger (U.S.), Jair Marrufo (U.S.) and Cesar Arturo Ramos (Mexico).Also retained for the competition are Andres Cunha (Uruguay), Nestor Pitana (Argentina) and Sandro Ricci (Brazil) from the Confederation of South American Football (CONMEBOL).From the Oceanic Football Confederation (OFC) is Matthew Conger (New Zealand),” he said

“The rest are from the European Football Association (UEFA), namely Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey), Bjorn Kuipers (The Netherlands), Antonio Mateu (Spain), Milorad Mazic (Serbia), Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) and Damir Skomina (Slovenia).Ten VARs were also picked to continue on in the competition,”