Molefe lifts flag

PROMINENT Absa Premiership assistant referee Enoch Molefe has arrived in Angola for the 27th Africa Cup of Nations, where he hopes for a repeat of the previous edition in Ghana.

PROMINENT Absa Premiership assistant referee Enoch Molefe has arrived in Angola for the 27th Africa Cup of Nations, where he hopes for a repeat of the previous edition in Ghana.

In Ghana in 2008, Molefe went all the way to the final between eventual winners Egypt and Cameroon, while his compatriot, referee Jerome Damon, handled the third-place playoff.

Hosts Ghana defeated Ivory Coast in the playoff match.

Molefe and Damon left for the capital Luanda yesterday.

The duo, who have been used by both CAF and Fifa for various crucial matches, are also on the provisional panel of referees for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Molefe, a teacher in Bloemfontein, said they were expecting a tough tournament in Angola judging by the quality of teams that have qualified.

"It's a great honour for Jerome and I to be part of the Afcon finals once again.

"This tournament is the biggest soccer competition on the continent and I continue to learn a lot from it," Molefe said.

"We have been working hard during the festive season to ensure that we are in great shape because we don't want to disappoint in Angola.

"The Afcon finals in Angola are taking place in a special year for Africa, it's only five months before the start of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

"We are well aware that our performances will be closely monitored in Angola, but as professionals we are used to officiating in major competitions.

"What makes the Angola tournament more exciting is the fact that the majority of top world stars who play in Europe will also be there," added Molefe.

Damon could not be reached for comment but Safa president Kirsten Nematandani is hopeful the duo will do well and enhance their chances of being on the World Cup referees' panel.

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