•The 34-year-old said such opportunities are rare and every time a chance offers itself he will gladly embrace it.
•Obala was also part of the umpires who officiated during the Olympic qualifiers held last month in South Africa.
Kenya’s Peter Obalo has welcomed his nomination by the Federation of Internation Hockey (FIH) to serve as a neutral umpire to the 9th Sultan of Johor U-21 International Invitational competition set for October 12-19 in Malaysia.
Obalo also served in the same capacity during the Youth Olympics U-18 competition in Argentina, where he officiated the tie between hosts Argentina and Zambia for the third and fourth playoffs. He said the move also proves that Africa too can produce good umpires.
The 34-year-old said such opportunities are rare and every time a chance offers itself he will gladly embrace it.
Obala was also part of the umpires who officiated during the Olympic qualifiers last month in South Africa.
“There are good umpires here but it’s just the platform we lack. I’m happy that once again I have been given the chance to go and officiate at such event and really, all this is about hard work and determination,” said Obala.
He added: “I picked valuable lessons during the last year youth Olympic qualifiers and I hope those lessons will come in handy next month as my intention is to always get better with every event .”
He thanked the Kenya Hockey Union for entrusting him with top league matches in the ongoing league matches as this had made him a better umpire.
He said, “KHU has so far earmarked me to officiate tough men’s league matches and I’m grateful for the gesture. I’m scheduled to depart for the host nation on October 9 and I believe by then I will have to toughen up.”