A total of 18 referees and 21 linesmen have been named to handle matches at the African Nations Cup finals, including South Africans Daniel Bennett and Zakhele Siwela. However, the continental football governing body again snubbed Nigeria with no referee from the West African nation included in the South Africa 2013 party
It is an experienced group as there are only two changes to the list of referees and eight new assistants from the last finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon one year ago, reports supersport.com.
The list includes two who have refereed previous finals – Mali’s Komlan Coulibaly from 2010 in Angola and Badara Diatta of Senegal who took charge of last year’s final between Zambia and the Cote d’Ivoire in Libreville.
Coulibaly, 42, will set the record for the most finals officiated at when he takes to the pitch in South Africa. This will be his seventh tournament since he first won a call-up to the Nations Cup panel in 2002.
The two new officials come from Kenya – Sylvester Kirwa – and the Seychelles – Bernard Camille.
Algeria and Senegal have the biggest representation with three officials each.
Algeria’s Mohamed Benouza will take charge in his fifth tournament while Diatta has also been to every finals since 2006.
It will be third successive Nations Cup for Bennett and the second for Siwela. Both are also on the shortlist for the 2014 World Cup.
The referees for the tournament assemble in Johannesburg on January 15 for their pre-tournament tests.
They will stay at Irene Lodge in Pretoria, which is closed to the public for the duration of the tournament.