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Kabanda to Officiate Can 2012 Finals – posted by

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RWANDA’s FIFA referee Felicien Kabanda has been given the nod to officiate at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals which will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The tournament starts January 21 to February 12, 2012.

An excited Kabanda confirmed the development to Sunday Sport yesterday, saying that he is delighted for the opportunity given to him by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF).

“I’m a happy man because this is my first time to handle CAN final matches. It’s a dream come true for me to be given this opportunity,” stated the National Bank of Rwanda employee.

Kabanda is being tipped as the perfect replacement for retired and now Rwanda FA boss Celestin Ntagungira. He has risen slowly but steadily into the refereeing ranks and being able to reach continental ranks is a big achievement for him personally and Rwanda as a whole.

Having started his profession handling local matches in 1998 and Kabanda was then promoted to Fifa/Caf international assistant referee in 2002.

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He spent some good time handling matches within the Cecafa region as well continental competitions until 2010.

Last year, he officiated at the second edition of Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) finals held in Sudan and a few months into this year, he was again picked by CAF to handle Africa U-17 championship which was held in Kigali.

In June, Fifa gave him a nod to handle Fifa U-17 World Cup finals which were held in Mexico. Last month, Kabanda was the picked by CAF to handle U-23 2012 Africa Olympic final qualifying tournament which was held in Morocco.

Despite all the success, reliable sources have revealed that his employees at BNR are not comfortable with Kabanda’s assignments on both CAF and FIFA levels.

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