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Last Updated: Monday, 8 December, 2003, 15:52 GMT
Ref ends on a high
Felix Tangawarima
Tangawarima has blown time on his career
Zimbabwean referee Felix Tangawarima has blown the whistle for the last time on the international stage following his handling of the second leg of the African Cup Winners' Cup final in Tunisia on Saturday.

Tangawarima, who was the longest-serving African referee on the Fifa panel, has reached the mandatory retirement age of 45.

"It's a great honour to retire in style and I'm very grateful to Caf for honouring me and my country," he told the BBC Sport website.

Caf recognised Tangawarima's achievements by appointing him to take of the match between Etoile Sahel of Tunisia and Julius Berger in Sousse on 6 December, which the Tunisian side won 3-0 to take the title 3-2 on aggregate.

The Harare-based Tangawarima has been an international referee for 16 years after first being drafted onto the Fifa panel in 1988.

He will perhaps be best remembered as the man who red-carded Jay-Jay Okocha in Nigeria's tempestuous Nations Cup quarter-final tie against Senegal at Mali 2000.

But his retirement means he cannot now be included on the list of officials for next year's tournament in Tunisia.

Despite officiating at two Nations Cup finals and several other international tournaments, Tangawarima never made it to the World Cup finals.

"Of course every referee would want to go but some World Cup referees never went where I went.

"I've been to the Olympics (Sydney 2000) and I must be thankful for that.

The holder of a referees instructor's certificate from the English FA, Tangawarima hopes to continue serving the game by bringing up young referees.

Zimbabwe woman makes history
01 Sep 03  |  African
Debutants confident
21 Sep 03  |  African
Berger stars to miss final
11 Nov 03  |  African

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