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AFCON 2019: Why Uganda’s Referee Ssonko Missed out

Ssonko was among the 30 assistant referees and 27 referees selected by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to handle matches in Africa’s biggest football showpiece.
Ssonko working out in a Gym.


Uganda’s FIFA Assistant referee Mark Ssonko missed out being one of the officials at the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) which ends on July 19th with the final at the Cairo International Stadium.

Ssonko was among the 30 assistant referees and 27 referees selected by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to handle matches in Africa’s biggest football showpiece.

The assistant referee traveled early last month to Cairo to undergo drills and medical checks for all match officials. However, he was asked to return back to Uganda before the tournament kicked-off.

A senior official in the CAF referees’ department who did not what his name revealed told URN that Ssonko was dropped because he had an injury.

“We took the referees and assistants through very vigorous training and it was discovered that Ssonko could not continue during a match situation because he was carrying an injury,” said the source.

The official said it was unfortunate Ssonko did not declare the injury prior to the training. “We always encourage the referees and assistants to declare what kind of injuries they have so that it becomes easier to handle for the medical department,” added the official.

He also said another Ugandan referee Brian Nsubuga was dropped prior to the start of the 2018 Total Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco because he was carrying an injury. “These people should learn to be frank and speak because we eventually discover these problems,” added the source.

Edgar Watson, The Uganda FA Chief Executive Officer confirmed to URN that a nagging injury was the reason Ssonko was dropped and returned back to Uganda.

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