BY: Arfang M.S Camara
Gambia and Africa’s best Bakary Papa Gassama is up for a fourth consecutive CAF Referee of the Year award after his nomination by the Confederation of African Football on Monday.
Gassama, who has won the awards for the past three editions, is nominated alongside Bamlak Tessema (Ethiopia), Ghead Grisha (Egypt), Janny Sikazwe (Zambia), Malang Diedhiou (Senegal) and Mehdi Abid Charef (Algeria).
The 38-year-old, who is favorite to win this year’s award, again, has been chosen together with the quintet, to officiate at next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The CAF awards is a yearly ritual instituted to honor footballers and personalities who have excelled in various departments of the game as well as making meaningful contribution to its development in the continent.
The awards, which dates back to 1970 when the best African Footballer of the Year was recognized, has expanded to other categories with the inclusion of women footballers for their enormous contribution to the game.
The award increasingly enjoys great popularity beyond the shores of Africa and is bestowed on every individual on pure merit for his or her exemplary contribution towards the development and promotion of football.
The Referee of the Year award will be choosen by only members of the CAF Referees’ Committee with the winner announced at a Gala in Accra, Ghana on Thursday, 4 January 2018.