Botswana‘s highly rated woman assistant referee Botsalo Mosimanewatlala has been shortlisted among candidates to officiate at the 9TH Edition of the Under 20 Women’s World Cup.
The tournament is slated for France from 5th to the 24th August this year. Should she make the final cut, Mosimanewatlala will etch her name in the annals of history as the first Motswana referee to officiate at an event of this magnitude.
Mosimanewatlala is no stranger to the big stage, she has officiated in big championships like the COSAFA Senior Women‘s title final and was the only Motswana woman to officiate at the 2015 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations which was held in Cameroon.
Now one of referees in the FIFA panel of referees list, Mosimanewatlala first made it into the list when she was doing duty in the country’s First division. Two year later, she has been appointed to officiate in the Botswana Premier league to gain exposure from the elite league.
Mosimanewatlala’s rise to the football big league has not gone unnoticed, with the Chairperson of the Referees commission Eatametse Olopeng praising her for her achievements.
Olopeng said while women’s football in the country is still going through growing pains, the short listing of Mosimanewatlala is a great boost for the sport.
He described her as a performer saying that she will need support from all affiliates to nurture her talent as she has been doing well.
“I am aware of the task that lies ahead for Mosimanewatlala. However, she is a disciplined referee and it’s a mileage for us to be represented by her,” said Olopeng.
“We have been helping her to stay in good shape for the world cup and have designed a program for her.She has experienced accessors to monitor her performance and report to FIFA regarding her progress. Gaontebale Malete and Glenda Mokokwe are the technical, they are responsible for her mental fitness and focus and the duty of fitness or physical instructor is handled by Jonty Rasetsosa,” the Referees Commission chairperson explained.
For her part Mosimanewatlala said being selected for the World Cup is an achievement on its own and a big deal to her, Botswana and the football association. She said it gives her a platform to showcase her worth to the whole world and shows she is among the best in the world.
She added that being a candidate motivates her to work hard to gain more experience and fitness needed by FIFA to make the final list.She said that her target is to officiate all group matches and observe what happens thereafter.
“ Iam going to use the experience I gained from France to develop other women referees in Botswana.I believe that even women teams both National and Club level should be able to benefit from me.The opportunity means a lot as it shows that there are no limitations in life and that hard work pays.It is important to focus ,discipline is the major factor as it defines who you are.This should also motivate other referees in the country to believe in themselves and know that whatever they are doing,wherever they are ,someone is watching,” she said.