I could happily quit after refereeing a FIFA World Cup match: Bamlak Tessema
August 17, 2019 | 8:37 PM
by Agencies
Bamlak’s ultimate goal in his career is to officiate at the FIFA World Cup Finals. - Supplied photo

Addis Ababa: FIFA international referee since 2009, Bamlak Tessema, 38, is one of the most celebrated A-listed football referees in Africa.

He is a married father of two and a trained physician and assistant researcher at Armon Hansson Research Institute, which focuses on doing researches on infectious diseases.

Bamlak has had the privilege of officiating highly rated matches at various international competitions, including one of the semifinals at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt – the match between Senegal and Tunisia. That is why he is considered one of the best things to happen in this contemporary era of Ethiopian Football that is entangled in doom and the gloom.

“Even though, I had a wish to become one of the best referees, I have to be honest with you to tell you that I had never imagined being where I am today,” Bamlak said about his tremendous leap towards the summit of refereeing in the continent.

"Coming to this level is not an easy thing by any means. As the saying goes, ‘there are no gains without pains’ you have to sacrifice something physically, emotionally and economically to meet your natural call. I have suffered a lot in all of these, to reach where I am today. I missed chances to advance my education, declined higher positions, unable to have time for family and friends. However, I have no regrets at all. Because I love what I do, I love refereeing."

"The years 2018/19 are the best without a doubt. I had been given the chance to officiate at FIFA U-17 World Cup, chosen as a fourth referee at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, led at Africa Champions League and Confederation Cup finals, went to the FIFA Club World Cup and also the AFCON 2019. It sometimes feels like I am dreaming, when I think about all these."

Bamlak’s ultimate goal in his career is to officiate at the FIFA World Cup Finals. He even dared to say, “I could happily quit my refereeing career after leading a match at FIFA World Cup Finals.” Qatar 2022 is the place where he believes his dream will come true.

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