“This success is for all Gambians” – says CAF Award nominee Papa Gassama

BY: Alieu Ceesay

Gambia and Africa’s best Bakary Papa Gassama has spoken to Gambia Sports after his nomination for a fourth consecutive CAF Referee of the Year award by the Confederation of African Football. 

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 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.

And speaking in an exclusive interview with Gambia Sports’ Alieu Ceesay from Abu Dhabi where he is currently attending a five day FIFA course for 2018 World Cup referees, Gassama said he was grateful to be nominated for the award. 

He said the success is not only for him, but The Gambia as a whole and urged on Gambians to keep praying for him.

“Being nominated alone is enough and every Gambian should be proud of this,” Gassama, a highly respected referee reacted.

On his nomination for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Gassama, who officiated in the 2014 World showpiece in Brazil is quite elated and is hopeful of making presence in Russia.