By Mikia Kalati
MASERU — Lesotho referee Matheola Makhobalo will take charge of the international friendly match between South Africa and Gabon at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday.
Makhobalo, 28, recently become an international referee and has handled a few international matches.
He will be assisted by fellow countrymen Seeiso Sekhonyane, 44, and Makhetha Patšoane, 24.
“It is good news that our own referees will be in charge of such a high-profile match. I would like to congratulate them and hope this serves as an inspiration for upcoming young referees,” Baba Malephane, the Lesotho Referees Association chairman, said.
Malephane said the duo of Makhobalo and Phatšoane have just come back to the country after officiating in the Under-20 eight nation tournament that was recently held in Cape Town, South Africa.
“Their appointment to officiate in such a high-level match will help in the development of refereeing in our country and we believe it will also promote their involvement in bigger continental matches like the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup qualifiers,” said Malephane.
Malephane continued: “Makhobalo and Phatšoane are young and new on the international stage, but they have acquitted themselves very well in recent appointments which include the Under-20 and the Cosafa tournaments respectively.
Meanwhile, Malephane told the Lesotho Times that this could be the last international match for veteran assistant referee Seeiso.
The Mafeteng-born referee is one of the longest serving match officials in the country and has handled a number of memorable matches involving Bafana Bafana in the past few years.