MASERU – Lesotho match official Souru Phats’oane who is currently officiating at the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Egypt is reportedly putting up an impressive showing.
Phats’oane wrote history when he became the first Mosotho match official to be assigned to the AFCON finals.
Lesotho Football Association (LeFA)’s communications officer Mikia Kalati commended Phats’oane for his sterling performance saying the trickiest part was that he had been assigned to officiate in major matches featuring North African nations.
Kalati said Phats’oane opened up the AFCON finals by officiating in a game between Cote d’lvoire and Namibia.
He also officiated in matches between Tunisia and Mali, along with Egypt and Congo then Tunisia and Ghana.
He said the four matches that Phats’oane was in charge of featured the tournament favourites from North Africa which attracted a lot of following.
He said besides the pressure entailed in the games, Phats’oane and his team were however able to withstand the pressure and perform their duties as professionally as possible.
He was hopeful that Phats’oane would be featured in the semi-finals or even the final match despite this being his debut appearance at the continent’s biggest football tournament.
He is confident that Phat’soane gained valuable experience during the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions league semi-final between Wydad Casablanca and Mamelodi Sundowns semi-finals earlier this year.
Kalati said Phats’oane would be inspirational to other up and coming match officials.
“I hope he keeps on working hard to raise the national flag high, as he is not representing himself but the entire Basotho nation,” he also said.
Meanwhile, other Lesotho’s match officials Lebalang Mokete as central referee and two assistant referees Mapoho Mapoho and Lesupi Puputla and the fourth official Osias Koto have been assigned to officiate at the African Nations Championships between Mauritius and Zimbabwe on July 26 – 28.