Makalima all set to blow up storm in elite company

CAF CALLING: Akhona Makhalima has been picked to the top refereeing panel Picture: GALLO IMAGES
CAF CALLING: Akhona Makhalima has been picked to the top refereeing panel Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Akhona Makalima said she felt privileged to make it into the Caf’s Referee Elite Women’s course for the third time.

Makalima, 29, from Ngqamakhwe will jet off to the course to be held in Rabat from October 26-30.

The course will see 20 referees and 19 assistant referees improve their skills and knowledge, while learning about new emerging trends in refereeing.

“I’m very excited. This is my third time going for the Elite course. The fact that I’m going there again this year feels good, because if you are a referee it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be called.

“They chose me based on my performance, which is pleasing to know that I have been doing well in executing my duties on the field of play.”

She said it was a great honour, especially when she looks at other referees being taken out of the elite.

“It’s not an easy job to get recognised because sometimes you work extra hard, but it’s not a guarantee you make the cut.

“I’m going to be taught the new laws of the game and new amendments of the game, and it’s where they (Caf) chose our World Cup prospects as Afcon referees.

“So being there is an opportunity to prove yourself as a referee so that you can be chosen for prestigious games.”

Last year Makalima officiated in the women Afcon tournament after she went to the course.

“I have learnt to humble myself when I am refereeing, how to deal with different types of cultures, different types of beliefs, how to treat people.

“The minute you are on Caf you are no longer representing South Africa alone but the entire Africa, so they teach how to conduct yourself and a whole lot of other good qualities.

“I’m going to Kenya for the U17 World Cup qualifiers and I’ll be officiating the Kenya v Ethiopia game.

“I just came back from Cosafa tournament in Zimbabwe for three weeks.”

Makalima has officiated in the country’s elite leagues, been in charge of PSL games, with her most recent match in the league being between SuperSport United and Polokwane City.

The SA Football Association (Safa) released a statement that said Makalima’s invite augured well with their vision 2022, which was not just about producing quality and talented players, but referees and coaches as well.

“With the Elite A Women course, Makalima will get a chance to share ideas with other top female referees from around the continent, while representing the best of local referees.

“The move is also aimed at inspiring and increasing the number of female referees and coaches in future.”

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