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Bakary Papa Gassama favourite for the SJAG award

Apr 21, 2017, 11:45 AM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

Gambian international referee Bakary Papa Gassama is the favourite to win this year’s Gambia Sports Journalists Association’s award.

The 38-year-old referee will be competing for the top prize along with fellow Gambian referees .........and Mawdo Jallow, current holder of the prestigious accolade.

Gassama’s nomination was confirmed late Thursday night, days after the association released the shortlist of several other sports personalities to compete for different categories of the event.

This is the first time Gassama got shortlisted for the award by te Sports Journalists Association of The Gambia (SJAG), which is staging the 8 annual award and gala-night Friday 28 April 2017 at Djembe Hotel.

The award is meant to honour the achievements of past and present sports men and women for their outstanding contributions to the development and promotion of sport in The Gambia over the past 12 months.

However, Gassama nicknamed Papa has already won three (TRIPPLE) consecutive awards by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), in 2014, 2015 & 2016.

He was also designated “person of the year award in 2015”, by the Gambia News & Report in recognition of his outstanding performance during the 2014 Fifa world cup finals in Brazil, the highest football tournament any referee can reach.

The iconic referee Gassama first contested for the Caf Africa referee of the year award in 2013.

He made history when he became one of the three African referees selected by Fifa to officiate in the 2014 world cup in Brazil. He was in charge of the third game of group D fixtures of the 2014 World cup match between Netherlands and Chile.

Papa, who became Fifa referee in 2007, officiated at 2012 London Olympic games.

He was in charge of the 2015 Caf Africa Nations Cup final between Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Ivory Coast won the tournament in a dramatic 9-8 penalty shootout following a bitterly fight goalless draw at the end of extra time.

The industrious referee Papa became the first Gambian referee to compete for the Caf Africa’s top refereeing award. He’s by far the best referee in the continent and undoubtedly one of the best in the world.