RS Berkane vs Zamalek : Three Kenyan referees to officiate epic CAF Confederation Cup final

RS Berkane vs Zamalek : Three Kenyan referees to officiate epic CAF Confederation Cup final

Mark Kinyanjui 11:30 - 12.05.2024

Peter Waweru Kamaku, Gilbert Kipkoech and Stephen Onyango will be the officials tasked with ensuring the potential temper-flaring first leg of the final does not get beyond boiling point.

Three Kenyan referees will officiate the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final between RS Berkane and Zamalek which will take place in Berkane, Morocco, on Sunday at 10.00 PM EAT.

Peter Waweru Kamaku, Gilbert Kipkoech and Stephen Onyango will be the men tasked with ensuring the potential temper-flaring match does not get beyond boiling point, as both sides will seek to put themselves in a good position ahead of the second leg in Egypt next week.

Kamaku took charge of the CAF Champions League semi-final between Al Ahly and TP Mazembe, and it was overshadowed by controversy around a disallowed goal by TP Mazembe's Joel Beya in the 57th minute of the second leg. 

After consulting the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), Kamaku ruled out Beya's opener due to a handball, a decision that shifted the momentum of the game significantly.

Al Ahly capitalized on the ruling, scoring three times through Mohamed Abdelmonem, Wessam Abou Ali, and Akram Tawfik to seal their spot in the final.

The three officials will be hoping that there will be minimal controversy this time round, as the clash itself has already attracted a lot of tension in the build up. 

Berkane were handed a 3-0 walkover by CAF after Algerian outfit USM Algier raised an issue over the Moroccan side’s kits.

Reflecting on their appointment, the trio of officials will be hoping for minimal controversy in what is anticipated to be a tense showdown. 

The build-up to the match has already seen heightened tension, with Berkane benefiting from a 3-0 walkover awarded by CAF after USM Algiers raised concerns regarding Berkane's kits.

Both RS Berkane and Zamalek have asserted their dominance in the tournament, finishing atop their respective groups undefeated. Berkane, with two CAF Confederation Cup titles to their name, will seek to capitalize on their home advantage against Zamalek, who boast a formidable cup pedigree.

Dayo Isoufou, who experienced defeat in the 2019 final against Zamalek, is determined to avenge the loss and lead Berkane to victory. As captain of the team, Issoufou is confident in his teammates' abilities and is motivated to secure the trophy for their fans.

 I always try to bring calm and serenity to all my teammates. We have a lot of promising players. 

“In 2019, I played in the final against Zamalek, and unfortunately, we didn’t win. It is a bad memory for me.

“ I think that we lost something in Egypt in 2019, and we must bring it back home this time around. It will not be easy against a good side like Zamalek, but as players, we are motivated to get the trophy and to make our fans happy,”

Zamalek, despite missing six players due to injuries, remains optimistic about their chances in the final. Head coach Jose Gomes acknowledges the challenge posed by Berkane but trusts in his squad's ability to deliver a positive result.

"We have been preparing for this moment, and we are optimistic we will get good results despite knowing our opponents are also a very good side. Berkane is interesting because of how they organize their tactical game, but we have come up with our strategy," said Gomes.

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