By Moses Wantimba
Ugandan referee Mark Sonko will be part of the assistant referees to take charge of matters at the AFCON finals in Egypt.
As Uganda Cranes participate at their second consecutive AFCON tournament after the previous one in Gabon,they will be joined by a fellow Ugandan.
Mark Sonko became a FUFA referee in 1998 and officiated his first local league game as the then Kampala Capital city Fc took on Masindi Town council.
He later rose to the level of FIFA assistant referee in 2010 becoming the first Ugandan to officiate at the Championship for Africa Nations(CHAN) when he was part of the match officials at the 2014 tournament in South Africa.
He’s first international club fixture was in Burundi as Academy Ludic hosted Nigeria’s Wari Wolves.
The Elite A badge holder seeks to follow the footsteps of former Ugandan FIFA assistant referee Ali Tomusange who went as high as officiating at the 2002 FIFA World Cup that was jointly hosted by South Korea and Japan.
A total of 55 match officials-29 assistant referees and 26 center referees where confirmed by the Confederation of African football(CAF) to officiate games at the 19th June to 19th July event in Egypt.
Egypt who will be hosting the tournament for their fourth time after tournaments in (1959,1986 and 2006) has the biggest number of officials (6) with Tunisia and Senegal contributing five apiece.
Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria), Joshua Bondo (Botswana), Pacifique Ndahibawenimana (Burundi), Alioum Alioum (Cameroon), Amin Mohamed Omar (Egypt), Gehad Gerisha (Egypt), Mahmoud Zakria El Banna (Egypt), Bamiak Tessema (Ethiopia), Gassama Bakary Pap (Gambia), Daniel Nii Ayi Laryea (Ghana), Peter Waweru (Kenya), Mahamadou Keita (Mali), Redouane Jiyed (Morocco), Noureddine El Jaafari (Morocco), Jackson Pavaza (Namibia), Jean Jacques Ndala Ngambo (Democratic Republic of Congo), Louis Hakizamana (Rwanda), Maguette Ndiaye (Senegal), Bernard Camille (Seychelles), El Fadil Mohamed Hussein (Sudan), Sadok Selmi (Tunisia), Youssef Essrayri (Tunisia), Guirat Haythem (Tunisia), Jannu Sikazwe (Zambia), Issa Sy (Senegal), Belda Dahane (Mauritania)
Mokrane Gourari (Algeria), Abdelhak Etchiali (Algeria), Seydou Tiama (Burkina Faso), Nguegoue Elvis Guy Noupue (Cameroon), Evarist Menkouande (Cameroon), Issa Yaya (Chad), Soulaimane Almadine (Comoros), Tahssen Abo El Sadat (Egypt), Abouelregal Mahmoud (Egypt), Ahmed Hossam Taha (Egypt), Tesfagiorghis Berhe (Eritrea), Samuel Temesgin (Ethiopia), Sidibe Sidiki (Guinea), Gilbert K. Cheruiyot (Kenya), Souru Phatsoane (Lesotho), Attia Amsaaed (Libya), Lionel Andrianantenaina (Madagascar), Azgaou Lahcen (Morocco), Arsenio Maringule (Mozamibque), Mahamadou Yahaya (Niger), Baba Adel (Nigeria), Oliver Safari (Democratic Republic of Congo), El Hadji Malick Samba (Senegal), Djibril Camara (Senegal), Mohammed Ibrahim (Sudan), Waleed Ahmed Ali (Sudan), Yamen Mellouchi (Tunisia), Anouar Hmila (Tunisia), Mark Ssonko (Uganda)