Gambian Bakary Gassama has been adjudged the best referee for the year 2014. The Gambian referee clinched the top prize at the expense of Cameroonian Neant Alioum and Ivory Coast’s Noumadiez Doue and was honoured at the CAF Awards Gala held in Lagos, Nigeria.
Gassama (photo) was unarguably one of the foremost African referees during the year under review. The Gambian was one of three Africans selected for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, officiating the Netherlands – Chile clash in the group phase. Gassama has officiated at his second African Champions League final last year when he took charge of the decider between eventual winners Entente Setif from Algeria and Vita Club of DR Congo. He also officiated the 2013 decider between Al Ahly from Egypt and Orlando Pirates from South Africa. He refereed in the semifinals of the CAF Confederation Cup earlier last month and also made history when he officiated two games in the Qatari domestic football league last month and became the first non-Asian referee to do so. He also officiated at the 2013 Club World Cup in Morocco, as well as games in the qualifiers for the Orange Africa Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 2015.