The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has told the Egyptian Federation that Bakary Papa Gassama will be the referee to officiate the Egypt – Cameroon Nations Cup Semifinals in the Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday.
This came after Egyptians protested against the CAF decision to entrust the game to one of the continents best referees.
Egypt in a statement stated that they don’t trust Gassama and demanded his replacement by CAF.
The African football governing body quickly responded to the Egyptian query, saying they choose the best referees for games.
“The committee will choose its best referees to play big games. Just like the teams will play with their best players.” CAF said.
World renowned Gambian Referee Bakary Papa Gassama who started his career in 2007 is a three time winner of the best CAF Referee award. He officiated at the 2012 Olympic tournament and also served as a referee at the 2012 and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments as well as the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The World football governing body FIFA named Gassama as one of the fifty potential referees for the 2014 World Cup in March 2013.
Papa Gassama officiated the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Final match on February 8, 2015 between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
On 27 April 2017, Gassama was selected as CAF’s sole referee for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. Gassama successfully officiated several games at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.