THE Fifa/Caf assistant referee Felicien Kabanda has been given a busy fixture as seeks to gain much more experience and exposure ahead of the 2014 World Cup finals which will be held in Brazil.
Kabanda said over the weekend, “It is a good platform to help improve my career. I am hoping together with my team to exhibit good quality refereeing in our upcoming assignments as well as the Fifa World Cup next year,”
Kabanda, the only East African referee earmarked to officiate next year’s World Cup, alongside Guinea’s Bakary Gassama and Gambian Maudo Jallow will start a series of serious engagements when they take charge of the second leg of the African Champions League final between hosts and holders Al Ahly of Egypt and South Africa’s Orlando Pirates.
The second leg of the final will be played in Cairo on November 10 with the winner also claiming a place at the Club World Cup that kicks in December in Morocco.
Hosts Orlando Pirates scored with almost the final kick of the game to earn a 1-1 draw with holders Al Ahly of Egypt in the first leg of the African Champions League final over the weekend.
Mohamed Aboutrika’s perfectly-placed freekick from outside the area on 14 minutes looked like it would be the winner in South Africa.
However Pirates, backed by a capacity and vociferous crowd, dominated for much of the match and were rewarded in the third minute of injury time when Thabo Matlaba scored an equaliser.
Kabanda will again be on task again when Nigeria hosts Ethiopia in the second leg of the Fifa World cup play-off match due in Calabar on November 16. Nigeria’s 2-1 win in the first leg in Addis Ababa on October 13 puts the African champions in the box seat ahead of the return fixture in Calabar but head coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi has dispelled fears that his players will sit on their lead.
Kabanda’s final affair of the year will see him handle the Club World Cup that kicks on December 11-21 in Morocco. The FIFA Club World Cup will be held on African soil for the first time Bayern Munich the reigning UEFA Champions League winners, Oceania champions Auckland City FC, CONCACAF Champions League winners CF Monterrey while South America champions, Atletico Mineiro and the first of the two African clubs Raja Casablanca who will be representing Morocco, the host nation and the CAF Champions League winner yet to be known set to spice the tournament.