By DEWAH Fabrice TEH
Sports writer, Kick442.Com Cameroon
In 2018, Kenya made headlines across the African continent and the globe when world football governing body FIFA, banned one of the country’s referees, Aden Marwa Okendo for life.
Aden Marwa Okendo who was assistant referee in four consecutive Africa Cup of Nations tournaments in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2017 in Gabon, received a FIFA ban after being filmed by Ghanaian investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas for receiving a bribe in the build-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Since the incident over three years ago, the Kenyan refereeing image, according to numerous analysts, suffered damaging effects as a result of the act described by many as unfortunate and pathetic.
Despite the bitter memories, a Kenyan scholar turned referee has taken up the challenge of doing what many call a redefining process for Kenyan refereeing image.
Peter Waweru, change maker
Peter Waweru became FIFA licensed referee in 2017, shortly before the revelation leading to the banning of his compatriot, Adem Marwa Okendo by FIFA.
The man who began refereeing in 2011 in lower leagues in Kenya before launching his professional refereeing career in the Kenyan Premier League in 2013, has since taken charge of major matches across the African continent including in the Africa Cup of Nations, the Africa Nations Championship, and other top matches.
The 39-year-old Nairobi-born became the first Kenyan referee to take charge as central referee in the final phase of the Africa Cup of Nations when he officiated Ivory Coast’s Group D game against Namibia during the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
The Ph.D. holder in Pure Mathematics, officiated games during the 2020 Africa Nations Championship held in Cameroon last year and took charge of the final where the Atlas Lions of Morocco emerged victorious at the Yaounde Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.
Peter Waweru has been described by a greater fraction of Kenyan football pundits and enthusiasts, as the pride of the country’s football officiating image.
The man who has also taken charge of games in Africa’s two biggest club competitions, the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederations Cup, also made a global mark in Brazil in 2019 where he was among referees during the 2019 U17 World Cup tournament.
He is one of the referees for the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. Peter Waweru officiated the Group C opener of the tournament pitting four-time holders, the Black Stars of Ghana, and the Atlas Lions of Morocco at the Yaounde Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.
Rich academic background
Peter Waweru is a Professor of Pure Mathematics after obtaining a Ph.D. from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in 2013.
He graduated as holder of Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Sciences from the same institution in 2006 and obtained a masters in Pure Mathematics in the same institution two years later.
Waweru bagged a postgraduate diploma in Education Technology from the University of Cape Town South Africa in 2015.
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