Multiple award-winning Gambian referee Bakary Papa Gassama yesterday announced he is retiring.
Gassama served for nearly twenty years and as well as several in African Cup of Nations, he’s also officiated in two separate World Cup finals. He was voted best African referee three times.
Born on the 10th February 1979 in Memmeh village Jokadou, the rose to prominence within the refereeing circles after joining Fifa’s elite panel in 2007, a journey which stated from Nawettan competitions and the domestic leagues.
Gassama’s reputation for fairness, acute understanding of the game, and ability to manage high pressure situations made him a respected figure in the sport. He has a huge fan base across the continent with high degree of respect and satisfaction in his work.
Throughout his career, Gassama has been at the helm of some of the most significant matches in football. He officiated at the 2012 summer Olympic Games in London, and the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.
His expertise was not limited to the World Cup but was a regular at the Africa Cup of Nations where he took charge of many of the continent’s flagship matches at the finals. Gassama also officiated the 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup final and appeared in several competitions such as the U-20 World Cup, CAF Champions League, Club World Cup Championship, African Qualifiers, Gold Cup, Arab Cup, the Kings Cup, Confederations Cup amongst others.