Mehluli Sibanda, Sports Editor
ZIMBABWEAN rugby referee Precious Pazani continues to soar to dizzy heights after she became the first ever match official from the country to handle an HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series encounter when she presided over two women’s matches at the Cape Town Sevens in South Africa on Sunday.
Pazani was the referee for the match between Brazil and Japan before she blew the whistle when Canada faced Fiji.
In an early kick off, Pazani was the first referee to take to the field for a fixture that warmed up the Cape Town Stadium turf. Brazil won the ninth place semifinal 17-12. Later on in the day, she was in charge when the Fijian women floored their Canadian counterparts 26-12 in a seventh place playoff.
Before the 32-year old Pazani walked out with whistle in hand on Sunday, no other Zimbabwean had ever been centre referee at this prestigious competition. Pazani had been assigned assistant referee duties before she was given the big tasks by World Rugby in the Mother City on Sunday.
Talent Gandiwa, another Zimbabwean rugby match official was also an assistant referee at the Cape Town Sevens in 2019.
It has been a magnificent year for Pazani who was recently voted as the best rugby referee in the country at the Zimbabwe Rugby Referees Society annual awards. Some of her high profile appointments in 2022 were for the Six Nations Under-20 championship, Women’s Six Nations, World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series to be played in Chile, Rugby Africa Cup in France, Rugby Sevens World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa as well as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens in Dubai, United Arab Emirates at the beginning of this month. — Mdawini-29
Article Source: The Chronicle