By Amosu Adeboye
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Referees Appointment Committee have appointed FIFA badge referee, Bakary Papa Gassama from Gambia as centre referee for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final fixture between Algeria and Nigeria on Sunday at the Cairo International Stadium.
The 40-year-old Gambian referee is regarded as one of the best referees on the continent and was among the few Africans selected for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Gassama’s previous game in the tournament was Nigeria’s group stage loss to Madagascar in Alexandria and the Super Eagles have not won any of their last three matches handled by the Gambian.
Interestingly though, Gassama was at the centre when Nigeria defeated Algeria 3-1 in a 2018 World Cup qualification game in Uyo, Southern Nigeria in November 2016.
Gassama will be assisted by El Hadji Malick Samba from Senegal and Seydou Tiama from Burkina Faso as Assistant Referee one and two respectively, while Victor Gomes from South Africa will serve as fourth official and Issa Yaya from Chad will be the fifth official.
CAF have also confirmed the Video Assistant Referees (VAR) Referees appointment, Pol Van Boekel from Netherlands will lead the VAR officials alongside Janny Sikazwe from Zambia and Zakhele Siwela from South Africa as assistants.