Zambia’s football community is buzzing with excitement as the news of 18-year-old Raphael Mbotela‘s qualification to officiate Football Association of Zambia FAZ games spreads. Mbotela, who is the country’s youngest referee, successfully passed the referee’s course he underwent in 2022, making him eligible to officiate in top-flight matches.
Mbotela‘s recognition came after he was invited to officiate at the 2021 Under 17 AUSC Region five Games in Lesotho, organized by the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA). There, he was chosen to officiate the semifinal of the COSAFA U17 girls match between Botswana and Namibia, where he drew praise from tournament organizers and football fans alike.
FAZ referees manager Aziph Banda expressed his delight with Mbotela’s achievement, revealing that the young referee is now qualified to officiate even super league games. Banda also mentioned that Mbotela‘s performance will determine whether he can officiate in the ABSA games.
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Mbotela, thrilled to be a qualified referee, believes this achievement will help him advance in his officiating career. His passion for football and dedication to the sport has seen him rise through the ranks, and his success has made him a role model for young aspiring referees.