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Ali Tomusange names the Ugandan match official who missed out at Qatar World Cup



Retired referee Ali Tomusange the only Ugandan to officiate at the Fifa World Cup has revealed that official Dick Okello came close to representing Uganda at the Showpiece in Qatar.

Tomusange who will be turning 58 in December this year, officiated at the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan since then Uganda has never had a match official at the tournament.

He said that Dick Okello was among the officials that had been considered but missed out on the opportunity after refusing a Covid-19 vaccination ahead of the AFCON tournament that was held in Cameroon. In case he had officiated at the AFCON, the Ugandan official could have gained ranking points for a World Cup ticket.

“I think this year we could have had a representative at the World Cup. Okello had done a tremendous job and had support from both FUFA and CAF but due to his personal reasons he missed out on the opportunity. CAF even called the FUFA President to talk to Okello to change his decision but still he refused.”

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Said Tomusange

On what should be done by Ugandan match officials to officiate at the biggest soccer event

FIFA referee Dick Okello turned down the opportunity due to personal reasons. Photo/courtesy

“One has to work hard and luck should be on your side. The other thing you must have a powerful person to help you out, performance is not enough for one to appear as a match official at the World Cup.”

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Said Tomusange during an interview with BBS Terefayina.

Tomusange officiated four World Cup matches, including the quarterfinal match between South Korea and Spain.

In the Quarterfinal game, he is remembered for raising the flag for offside late in extra time with Spanish striker Fernando Morientes through to goal.

The Spaniard raced full length to vent his agonizing frustrations to the Ugandan official. Korea cruised to the Semifinal 5-3 on penalties after a goalless stalemate.

Tomusange, now works with Fufa as a FIFA and CAF refereeing instructor.

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Briefly on Tomusange

He got his FIFA badge in 1993 and besides the 2002 World Cup, he also officiated at the Women AFCON and Men’s U20 FIFA World Cup in Nigeria, CAF U20 Afcon, Fifa Club World Cups in Brazil and Spain where he took charge of great sides like Manchester United and Real Madrid and 2000 AFCON Finals in Ghana/Nigeria and Sydney Olympics.

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