Football's world governing body, FIFA, has rated the performance of Gambian referee Bakary Gassama as very satisfactory and categorised him among the best at the recently concluded World Cup in Brazil. Gassama officiated the deciding group stage match between the Netherlands and Chile but despite working under difficult circumstances, he gave a flawless performance that was hailed by commentators and the international media alike.
FIFA who had already taken stock of the refereeing performances in Brazil wanted no big scandals and, above all else, no country to be sent home due to a refereeing mistake, which they managed to achieve. Another priority was the correct use of yellow cards. During a short tournament, with suspensions for picking up two yellow cards, they had asked referees to impose their authority without the need to constantly book players, which they also managed. There were only two bookings for dissent. The spray used to line up walls at set pieces avoided many bookings. According to FIFA, the referees who scored the highest once the tournament was over were Bjorn Kuipers, Carlos Velasco Carballo, Carlos Vera, Bakary Gassama, Jonas Eriksson and Sandro Ricci. FIFA believes that they put in impeccable performances.Some people might not understand FIFA's decision to rate Gassama as one of the best referees in Brazil having only appointed him for one game, but the 34-year-old is a young man in terms of refereeing circles and has another two to three more World Cups ahead of him. The Gambian is also expected to referee at this year's Club World Cup in Morocco that will feature clubs like European Champions Real Madrid. Papa has already arrived in Banjul but has since left town to referee at this Friday's all-Tunisian CAF Champions League game between Sfaxien and Esperance de Tunis.
Source: All Africa