Yesterday, Fifa released the names of referees and assistant referees for the remaining four matches in the World Cup and the list
does not include Papa . It however include Africans such as Ivory Coast’s Noumandiez Desire and Haimoudi Djamel of Alegeria as well as four assistant referees from Africa; two from North Africa, Algeria and Morocco; one from Ivory Coast and one from Burundi.
Papa Gassama had an explosive performance in his debut match where he officiated the final Group B match between Netherlands and Chile, a match he received special mention from the British newspaper, The Guardian in their live online commentaries. The Guardian stated; “Hats off for the debutant referee for standing his grounds.”
Since then, Gambians remain hopeful that the young man was going to be handed another match. He missed out in the round of sixteen, yet many believed he was reserved for the quarter finals or semis.
Now that Fifa has released the final list of referees without his name, Gambians can now come to terms that Papa’s World Cup is over.
Na Gambia News, an online newspaper upon hearing the news sound the opinion of few Gambians on Bakary Papa Gassama.
Musa Ceesay, a civil servant said he was expecting to see Papa officiate again but since it is all over for him, he can come back home a happy man.
He Added;“Gambians should know the date, the young man is due home. because he deserves a rousing welcome.”
Ceesay also said the Ministry of Youth and Sports and The Gambia Football Federation should arrange to give this young man a resounding welcome because he raised The Gambia flag high.
Nyamo Tamba, a driver said, “I did not watch his match but as a driver, I have heard many clients talk about him. Most of the people I carried on this day all spoke well of the young man.
“I was hoping that he will be giving another chance but it is not bad for him since it is his first world cup.”
Whether he deserves a resounding welcome, Nyamo said, “Why not. That is the highest level of football and welcoming him will encourage many young people to emulate him.”