Uganda will have to wait for at least four more years to have a match official at the FIFA World Cup after Mark Ssonko failed to make cut for Russia 2018.
Arguably Uganda’s best assistant referee, Ssonko was shortlisted among the CAF referees for the World’s biggest football showpiece alongside 17 officials of which 11 were assistants but missed out on the final list released by FIFA on March 29.
From the list, only Ssonko has been left out with the rest getting a ticket to referee in Russia include Kenya’s Range Marwa, Burundi’s Jean Claude Birumushahu and Sudan’s Ahmed Wareed.
Other assistant referees from Africa are Etchiali Abdelhak (Algeria), Hmila Anouar (Tunisia), Camara Djibril (Senegal), Samba El Hadji Malick (Senegal), Achik Redouane (Mauritius), Dos Santos Jerson Emiliano (Angola) and Siwela Zakhele Thusi (South Africa).
Uganda’s sole representative in the refereeing department at the World Cup in history remains Ali Tomusange who was among the assistant referees in 2002 in Japan and South Korea.
Meanwhile, Africa will have six centre referees in Russia with arguably the continent’s best Gassama Bakary Papa of Gambia and Zambian Janny Sikazwe leading the crew.
Others are Abid Charef Mehdi (Algeria), Diedhiou Malang (Senegal), Grisha Bakary Ghead (Egypt) and Tessema Weyesa Bamlak (Ethiopia) as the only one from the CECAFA region.