Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Bondo pushes for World Cup debut

Botswana official Joshua Bondo’s exceptional performance in the CAF continental competition is being recognised with the 2022 Qatar World cup inching closer.

Despite lack of action in the local football scenes since March 2020, the lanky referee has been among match officials handling the ongoing CAF champions’ league and confederations cup.

With referees categorized due to experience and knowledge of the game, Bondo is amongst the few in the elite category in the African continent.

Now as the African competitions get to the knockout stages, the matches are reported to be critical for Bondo to earn points to qualify him for the 2022 World cup.

The competitions will be followed by the 2022 Afcon tournament slated for Cameroon in January. 

A source close to the CAF refereeing panel said Bondo is regarded as one of the best match officials in the African continent and has high chances of making the World cup officiating team from Africa.

The source said: “It is no secret that Bondo is an experienced in the A class of refereeing in the continent hence being part of professional referees pilot program in Africa.”  

“It is clear that from the selected 20 referees piloting the professionalization program, the World cup bound will be selected from the group and it will not come as a surprise if Bondo is selected for the 2022 extravaganza,” added the source.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) referees’ manager Phodiso Rasetsoga in an interview admitted that Bondo is capable of handling top international matches if the opportunity arises.

He believes that ‘the sprinter,’ as Bondo is affectionately called, has shown excellence in the past when handling elite matches that included African heavyweights.

“We hope to see one of the local referees making strides in the international arena and Bondo is doing well in the continent and I believe he is capable of handling international matches,” said Rasetsoga.

“If you look closely on his records, he has been handling big matches in the confederation cup, champions’ league matches and Afcon finals which are a sign that he is doing something right,” he added.

“Bondo currently gets an allowance from CAF through the professionalization of referees piloting program and is doing well on his duties with the hope that,’’ Rasetsoga explained.

If Bondo gets the opportunity of officiating at the World cup he will pocket home a fat cheque that comes with refereeing at the world football extravaganza. For the 2018 edition, referees’ salary was set at $70, 000 and a $3,000 bonus per match.

The selection criteria according to FIFA “is based on each referee’s skills and personality as well as level of understanding of football and ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams.”

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