By Buba Gagigo
The Gambian international referee, Bakary Papa Gassama, the winner of the Referee of the Year Award of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 2014 and 2015 has been selected to officiate at the FIFA World Cup, for the 3rd time.
Gassama, who successfully officiated in the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups, after becoming a FIFA referee in 2007, is among the eight other African referees selected to officiate at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The others are Jean Jacques Ndala of DR Congo, Mustapha Ghorbal of Algeria, Redouane Jiyed of Morocco, Balmak Tessema of Ethiopia, Victor Gomez of South Africa, Janny Sikazwe of Zambia, and Maguette N’diaye of Senegal.
They would undergo training for some months ahead of this year’s global showpiece that kick-start in seven months.
The selected referees from Africa are to take part in the 64 games to be played at the global tournament from 21st November to 18th December.
After becoming FIFA referee in 2007, Gambia’s Bakary Papa Gassama officiated at the 2012 Olympic tournament as the fourth official between Brazil and Mexico, among other global and continental games.
The Gambian became the first to officiate 120 minutes game in the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations without consulting the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to review any of his decisions.