By FOCUS REPORTER
BAFANA Bafana might have not qualified for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations to be co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, but South Africa will be well represented in this continental showpiece.
This after Daniel Bennett and Zakhele Siwela were confirmed among referees to officiate in this competition which marks its 28th edition to be played from January 21-February 12.
Both Bennett and Siwela were selected to officiate in the auspicious continental tournament following their success during the CAF Elite Referees Fitness tests that were conducted during an Elite Referees workshop held in Cairo about a month ago.
The South African officials have also received accolades from the Zimbabwean Football Association (ZIFA) after they successfully officiated in the local Mbada Cup final held in the capital Harare last month
Chairman of the SAFA Referees Committee, Alpha Mchunu says the appointment of Siwela and Bennett is exciting news and shows that their succession plan regarding the development of referees is working.
“This is exciting news that our referees will be present at the 2012 AFCON tournament, and I am confident that Bennett and Siwela will make the much-needed impact. We would have loved to see more of our officials in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon next year, but we are hopeful this will become a reality in future CHAN and AFCON tournaments in the next few years. It is also encouraging to see that CAF has shown confidence in our young and upcoming referees, it proves that our succession plan is on track and working well,” said Mchunu.
Referees selected to officiate at the 2012 AFCON tournament have been invited to attend a refreshers course on January 19. It will be held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.