The Kenya national team Harambee Stars is a confirmed absentee at the 2018 African Nations
Championships (CHAN) but it doesn’t mean the country will be totally locked out, as two referees from Kenya are among the officials being considered for the competition in Morocco.
Center referee Davies Omweno and Assistant Referee Gilbert Cheruiyot were among the 44 match officials from around the continent, picked for a five – day training program in Cairo to prepare for the competition that is set aside for players plying their trade in their local leagues.
35 member associations
The two were among the three officials from Kenya who officiated in the 2016 CHAN tournament in Rwanda, the other being Aden Marwa, who was not among the invited officials this time.
The course started on Monday 27 November and will run to Friday 1 December 2017. The match officials in attendance are drawn from 35 Member Associations of the Confederation of African Football.
The training involves the referees being subjected to medical tests to ascertain their physical and general health status as well theoretical sessions which include topics such as technical and tactical analysis of the game, reviewing of video clips of matches amongst others and practical sessions with players.
The referees who will be handling the tournament will be announced at the end of the training.
Meanwhile the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be experimented for the first time on the continent during the tournament.
The tournament was initially set to be hosted by Kenya but the county was stripped of the hosting rights in September 2017 and Morocco handed the same. The North African nation will host the tournament in four cities – Casablanca, Marrakech, Tangiers and Agadir.