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World Cup referee Gomes: ‘I get more praise than insults and criticism’

10:18 AM WAT 21/11/2022
Victor Gomes Ndlondlo Soweto derby 2022
Famous South African referee Victor Gomes has said he always receives more praise than insults and criticism when discharging his duties.
  • Gomes is in Qatar for World Cup
  • Has overseen top-level games
  • Launched his career in 2008

WHAT HAPPENED? Gomes, 39, has overseen a number of key games within the continent and is in Qatar for the World Cup finals.

While explaining what his life as a referee looks like, Gomes stated that he has always received more applause than criticism.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "I don’t get insults. I get more praise than insults and criticism," the South African said.

"When you are on top of the mountain, everybody will throw stones at you, that’s why you go high because you use those stones to build your way higher. So, it’s important to stay focused and humble. 

"There are days where you know you’ve not done well, and you know there are days where you can do better.

"We are humans; we also make mistakes, and what is most important is to learn from those mistakes and move forward."

AND WHAT IS MORE: Although South Africa’s national team, Bafana Bafana, are not taking part in the Mundial, Gomes is flying the country’s flag and hopes to make the nation proud.

"It was a little boy’s dream to go to a World Cup. I know that the whole country is supporting me," he added.

"I know that I am respected, so my aim is to make sure I wear the South African flag with pride in Qatar. I want to make our country proud."

Linesman Zakhele Siwela and physician Thulani Ngwenya are the other South African officials taking part in the World Cup finals.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Gomes has overseen a number of high-level games since he started his refereeing career in 2008.

He was in charge of the Africa Cup of Nations final between Senegal and Egypt in Cameroon in February. Gomes also officiated the Caf Champions League final, which pitted Wydad Casablanca of Morocco against Egyptian giants Al Ahly this year.

In total, the referee has overseen 322 matches, during which he has issued 52 red cards overall. He has also awarded 110 penalties.

WHAT NEXT FOR GOMES? Being part of the officiating team in Qatar is in itself a historical moment for the African referee.