Papa Reacts To Egyptian Fans Rudeness With Calm


Africa’s top referee Bakary Papa Gassama from Gambia displayed maturity and resisted rude provocations from fans of Egyptian side Al-Ahly during and after Sunday’s fiery match against South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundown. Egyptian fans chanted abuse at the Gambian referee, referring him as a slave at the end of the quarterfinal match. The Egyptian outfit’s 1-nil second leg CAF Champions League win was not enough to overturn a 5-0 deficit from the first leg in South Africa and meant they have been eliminated from the competition. Al-Ahly fans were apparently frustrated by the decisions of the Gambian referee which did not go down well with the hosts during their spirited performance against Sundowns who put up a defensive display to protect their control of the two-legged affair. Both Gassama, a three-time African Referee of the Year, and the Confederation of African Football have not officially reacted to the supposed abuse. Many observers described the Egyptian fans’ behavior as racist and indescribably awful for a country which is about to host the African cup of nations which Papa will surely be the leading referee.