Senegal referee Diedhiou: Russia World Cup removed doubts on African referees

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There were six referees and nine assistants from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) at the Fifa World Cup in Russia

Senegalese referee Malang Diedhiou says Africans who officiated at the just-ended World Cup banished negative perceptions that clouded match officials from the continent.

The 45-year-old last week announced his retirement from refereeing.

He hung his whistle after enjoying a fair outing in Russia, where his four assignments included the round of 16 showdown between Belgium and Japan.

He was also involved in the Belgium-England third-place playoff match where he was the fourth official.

With 10 African assistant referees having initially been selected for the tournament by Fifa, they were left a man short after Kenyan linesman Range Marwa withdrew after being caught on tape allegedly receiving a bribe.

The incident happened a week before the start of the tournament and threw into question the credibility of African referees.

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“If there are still doubts about our abilities, the (African) referees present at the World Cup, have managed to remove these doubts,” Diedhiou was quoted as saying by the Senegalese Press Agency.

“For the skeptics, we managed to remove the doubts and in most cases, we did not need the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) in our games.”

Fifa however did not select African Video Assistant Referees for the tournament.

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