Gambia’s Papa Gassama is going for a hattrick of world cups this month. Gassama sits at the top of six African central referees, 10 assistant referees and 2 video match officials going to Qatar.
The full list of the six Caf referees are as follows:
Bakary Papa Gassama (Gambia) – This will be Gassama’s third World Cup appearance after Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018.
Maguette Ndiaye (Senegal) – The Senegalese referee officiated several matches at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria) – The 37-year-old Algerian has refereed several international matches, including the 2020 CAF Champions League final between Egyptian sides Zamalek and Al Ahly, in which he issued two red cards and five yellow cards.
Victor Gomes (South Africa) – A tough-talking no-nonsense referee, Gomes has made headlines on more than one occasion. In 2018, he reportedly turned down a $30,000 bribe to fix a CAF Confederation Cup game between Nigeria’s Plateau United and Algeria’s USM Alger. In the 2021 AFCON final, Gomes sternly told Egyptian superstar Mohammed Salah to stop complaining before sarcastically offering him his whistle.
Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda) – Mukansanga is continuously making history. She is the first woman from her native Rwanda to referee the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the first woman to ever officiate at the African Cup of Nations and now one of the first women to referee at the men’s World Cup.
Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) – Sikazwe boasts an impressive CV, having refereed the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup final and the 2017 AFCON final and becoming the first Zambian referee to officiate a World Cup in 2018.
However, he is perhaps best remembered for incorrectly calling full-time in the 85th and 89th minute in an AFCON clash between Tunisia and Mali in January this year. It later emerged that he had suffered heat stroke and was later taken to hospital.