Female Malawian FIFA Assistant Referee Bernadette Kwimbira-Nzika has been pre-selected for the ‘Road to AUS / NZL’ project, a program aimed at determining the best referees that FIFA will work with at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Kwimbira is among the 19 African referees from 15 CAF Member Associations that have been selected as prospective referees to officiate at the tournament.
In 2019, Kwimbira was among the 7 African Assistant Referees that officiated at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. She also officiated at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Reacting to the news, Kwimbira hailed CAF and FIFA for still believing in her and has since committed to work hard to make it in the final list.
“My inclusion on the list as a prospective candidate has come to me as a big surprise because there are so many good upcoming referees in Africa and I thought the 2019 France FIFA Women’s World Cup will be my last tournament to officiate. I would like to thank CAF and FIFA for still believing in me and I ask God to give me the faith to keep going as I continue working hard to fulfill whatever is required by FIFA for a World Cup referee,” she said.
She is Malawi’s celebrated female referee having officiated at two FIFA Women’s World Cups, five Women’s AFCONS, One Olympics, One Youth Olympics and FIFA Women’s Under 20 World Cup among other high-profile assignments.
In In 2013, Kwimbira emerged the best performer at a joint Elite Men and Women Referees Course in Cairo, Egypt and in October last year, she was named the overall best among the 33 Top African Female Referees, who attended a 5-day CAF Elite ‘A’ Women Referees Course in Djibouti.