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South African assistant referee Zakhele Siwela to run the line at the 2018 Fifa World Cup

18:16 GMT+3 29/03/2018
Zakhele Siwela, April 2017, PSL assistant referee
The PSL assistant is amongst 36 referees and 63 assistant referees who will officiate at the global showpiece in Russia

South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) assistant referee Zakhele Siwela will have the honour of officiating at the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia later this year.

Siwela is arguably South Africa’s top official and after yet another stellar season where he was most recently assisted at the Caf Super Cup game for the clash between TP Mazembe and Wydad Casablanca, Siwelas’ career will invariably reach its peak in June as he has made the final list of officials for the global showcase.

Siwela is now set to be the sixth South African to officiate at the world’s foremost sporting event, and follows in the footsteps of the likes of Jerome Damon and Enock Molefe who have had the privilege of officiating on the biggest stage.

Following the announcement, Siwela will now travel to Italy where he will attend a refereeing seminar along with 36 referees and over 60 assistant referees for the event.

“The selected FIFA World Cup match officials will attend another dedicated seminar for two weeks in the second half of April at the technical centre of the Italian Football Association in Coverciano, Italy. The officials will be divided into two groups, which will also include video assistant referee (VAR) candidates,” a statement issued by world football’s governing body read.

Meanwhile, with VAR (video assistant referees) set to be utilised at the World Cup in June, Fifa will in due course also release a list of referees who will be appointed as video match officials.

“Following this seminar, the Fifa Referees Committee will announce the names of the referees selected to act as VARs during football’s most important competition, the Fifa World Cup. The selection process will take into account the candidate’s VAR experience in domestic leagues, Fifa competitions and FIFA refereeing seminars since the beginning of the VAR project in 2016,” the statement continued.