SAFA’s chair of the Technical Committee, Natasha Tsichlas has lauded the appointment of referee Daniel Bennett and assistant Zakhele Siwela to officiate at next year’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon as yet another sign that South Africa was producing world class officials.

Bennett and Siwela are among the 38 referees and assistants who have been assigned the duties of handling next year’s AFCON in the Central African country.

“We have always prided ourselves as probably the country with the highest number of world class match officials and the appointment of Bennett and Siwela is yet another endorsement of that,” said Tsichlas.

The veteran SAFA NEC member said the Association was pouring massive resources within the referees’ structures and this was evidenced by the number of new and up-and-coming officials on the scene.

“Part of our Vision 2022 cannot be complete without us producing quality and competitive officials and Bennett and Siwela are among those top officials who we are busy churning out,” added Tsichlas.

“While some sections might be critical of some of our officials, the fact that South Africa’s referees are being sought after to handle CAF and FIFA matches speaks volume of how our efforts are being appreciated,” said Tsichlas.