LUSAKA – Aspiring referee Raphael Mbotela has caught the eye of COSAFA, who invited him to the 2021 Region V U17 matches in Lesotho.
Mbotela, 17, has made waves as the Copperbelt’s top referee understudy, officiating in the amateur ranks and Sunday league matches, earning him accolades.
While his eureka moment refereed a top-flight friendly between Zambian Super League champions Zesco United and Forest Rangers, he was in the amateur leagues.
He also played a key role in launching FIFA’s grassroots program where he captivated organizers led by FAZ President Andrew Kamanga and representatives from the Ministry of Sports.
FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala says Football House is delighted with the appointment of Mbotela, who will take part in Region V games.
“In relation to the above matches to be played in Lesotho from 30th November to 10th December 2021, we are pleased to announce that the following referees from your association have been appointed to the post,” read letters partially signed by Cosafa General Secretary Sue Destombes.
“You are invited to join the COSAFA delegation in Lesotho on November 24, 2021. Mr. Raphael Mbotela and Nancy Kasitu.
Zambia will participate in the Region V Games where it will field a men’s team and a women’s team.
Mbotela was born on September 29, 2005 and lives in Kitwe, Copperbelt province. The 17-year-old is currently in Grade 10 at Bulangililo Secondary School in Kitwe.