Algeria-Cameroon: Highly criticized, Gambian referee comes out of silence

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At the dam’s whistle for the Algeria-Cameroon World Cup (1-2, 29 March), Gambian bakery Papa Gassama took the floor to return to the criticism he was the target after.

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Bakri Papa Gassama finds himself in the eye of a storm in Blida (Algeria) on 29 March. Chosen to referee the World Cup return barrage between the Fenex and the Indomitable Lions (1–2 ep.), his decisions were strongly opposed by the Algerians. In question, Islam Slimani was denied two goals and denied two penalties, leaving Algeria out of the race for the World Cup as the CAN 2019 winners.

But that’s not enough to shake the Gambian referee, who slipped a short tackle to Fenekes in The Standard’s column: “If they win, you’re a good referee and if they lose, they Calling you a bad referee.” The 43-year-old then claimed “not to be affected” by criticism “thanks to his strong character”, still according to Kenyan media. Following the scandal, the Algerian federation decided to file a complaint with FIFA to reschedule the match. “In addition to requesting the FIFA bodies to open an inquiry to shed full light on the referee of the match.” The world football body is expected to rule on the matter on April 21.

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Despite the media storm over Bakery Papa Gassama, the latter is on the preliminary list of African referees selected for the 2022 World Cup.

A matter of great pride for those concerned, who have already refereed at the 2014 World Cup: “The appointment is a plus for The Gambia and I am very pleased with it.” FIFA will unveil the final list next June. So the bakery Papa Gassama can find Cameroonians next winter, for a good memory of the indomitable lions.

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