Kenya’s referee Gilbert Cheruiyot is set to officiate at the CAF Confederation Cup this weekend as he sharpens his skills ahead of Fifa Men’s and women’s Olympic Football tournament.
Cheruiyot who was appointed alongside Mary Njoroge, will be officiating Orlando Pirates and Raja Casablanca on Sunday in South Africa.
The Nakuru based referee is a mong 99 other match officials that include 25 referees, 50 assistant referees, 20 video match officials, and four support referees.
“The assistant referee, as part of equipping his skills, a match between Orlando Pirates and Raja Casablanca in the CAF Confederation Cup. Heading for Olympics, it is a privilege in my career just like anyone who gets something better. This is a sign that better things are coming my way,” said Cheruiyot.
He said serious preparations are underway and hoping to do the best that he can where physical fitness, laws of the game, mental stability were put on test. He added that there may be greater referees in Kenya but they did not get that opportunity like he got.
“This is like going to the war so I have to prepare very well, train hard and pray to God since many people wanted the opportunity but they missed,” added Cheruiyot.
He added that he has been training on the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system before the matches.
Cheruiyot, just as Njoroge, have officiated at Fifa and Caf matches where the former officiated the Africa Nations Championships quarterfinal pitting Mali against Congo.
At the AFCON qualifiers between Ivory Coast and Ethiopia, he was the centre referee ten minutes to the final whistle when centre referee from Ghana Charles Bulu collapsed in between the matches.
“It is a rare occasion for a referee to collapse but it presented a privilege for me to blow the whistle,” said Cheruiyot