18 February 2020 – COSAFA has lost one of its finest servants after referees’ instructor Katongo Kabungo passed away suddenly in Zambia in the early hours of Monday morning.

Kabungo was a highly-respected member of the referees’ team as a coordinator, instructor, assessor, mentor and administrator to both our grassroots referees and elite panel, and his loss will be keenly felt by all.

“KK was truly a part of the COSAFA family, gladly giving of his time and services, and helping to bring through so many of our best match officials,” says Sue Destombes, COSAFA General Secretary. “He will be sorely missed, not only for his professionalism but also his friendship and sense of humour.

“We would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family, his four children and seven grandchildren, as well as the Football Association of Zambia. He will forever be part of the COSAFA story.

Kabungo began his refereeing career in 1973 and joined the FIFA panel six years later. He was appointed a CAF Referees Instructor in 1997, and as Referees Manager by the Football Association of Zambia in 2010, later also serving as General Secretary in 2016.

COSAFA Referees Manager Felix Tangawarima says the loss of Kabungo will be felt deeply in the region, well beyond Zambia’s borders.

“He was a legend, an icon and a pillar in his area of operation. He was father and mentor to all the referees in the COSAFA region,” Tangawarima says.

“He had a ‘magic’ about him that made people like him. He understood other people’s problems and knew how to deal with them. He was a diplomat and very good at trying to help people see both sides of a situation.

“All the referees you see now from COSAFA officiating at the highest level of the game come through the wise teaching and mentoring of Mr KK. The extent of his involvement and support to our referees has been outstanding.

“COSAFA is the top region in CAF in terms of producing quality referees and we give credit to Mr KK for the work he did in the development of our match officials.

“Rest In Peace our mentor. COSAFA will never be the same without you.”