Malawi’s celebrated FIFA Assistant Referee Bernadettar Kwimbira will this summer get a second Olympic Games run after being appointed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Football Tournament scheduled between July 21- August 7, 2021.
This will be a back-to-back Olympics appearance for Kwimbira, who also officiated at the Rio 2016 games in Brazil.
Kwimbira, who made history by becoming the first woman to officiate at a CAF Men’s Senior tournament during the Chan finals two months ago, is also earmarked for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Commenting on the development Football Association of Malawi Head of Referees Maxwell Mtonga said: “Kwimbira’s appointment shows that she is highly rated for her character and performance both on and off the pitch. The two appointments are very good for her career as well as recognition for Malawi since she will be flying our Flag. As a department, we have always urged other referees to emulate Kwimbira’s character if they are to go places like her.”
Kwimbira said she is excited to have earned a second Olympics senior tournament.
“This is a great honour for me and I never expected it. I thought the Rio games were the first and last senior Olympic competition for me because my colleague Gladys Lengwe from Zambia, whom I have always been selected to go with to big tournaments retired last year .I thought I couldn’t go anywhere without her. But with her encouragement and hard work, here I am now.
“I do not take this for granted and I would like to thank my trainers for always being there for me when I need physical and technical support. It is my promise that as I fly the Malawi Flag in Tokyo, I will perform to the best of my ability,” she said.
Kwimbira is expected to be designated for both Women’s and Men’s matches during the tournament.
Other high-profile competitions that Kwimbira has handled in the past include the 2019 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cups and Five Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Finals.