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FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) has hailed referee Gladys Lengwe for raising the country’s flag high at the on-going FIFA under-20 women World Cup in France.

Lengwe was at the centre of the Group C clash between Japan and the United States of America on Monday, in which the former won 1-0.

FAZ communications manager   Desmond Katongo said Lengwe is an inspiration to women in sports and proved that refereeing was not just a man’s career.

“We wish to congratulate Lengwe for her continued success in refereeing. She handled the game between Japan and USA in a professional manner.  It is our hope that more women will be inspired to take up refereeing as a career and succeed at international level,” Katongo said.

He said FAZ was happy with the strides made in the area of refereeing as Lengwe’s success comes barely after Janny Sikazwe officiated at the FIFA men’s World Cup in Russia.

And Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo said Lengwe was a strong spirited woman who has defied odds to make a name in a male-dominated career. “Lengwe is one of the best referees we have in Zambia, very professional in the manner she handles matches even at local league level. We will rally behind her to the end of the tournament,” Makembo said. Lengwe also officiated at the 2017 FIFA under-17 World Cup in India.

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