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Papa Gassama nominated for ‘Referee of the year’ prize

Dec 29, 2014, 11:56 AM

Top Gambian and FIFA referee, Bakary Papa Gassama, is one of the referees nominated for the year’s prize at the annual Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.

Gassama was recently named by the Confederation of African Football as one of the 42 referees invited to officiate during the 30th Orange African Cup of Nations, taking place between January 17th to February 8th in Equatorial Guinea.

The Referee of the Year 2014 shortlist includes Nicola Rizzoli (Italy), Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands), Alireza Faghani (Iran), Yuicihi Nishimura (Japan), Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) and Bakary Papa Gassama (Gambia).

Completing the list are Abdelkader Zitouni, Norbert Hauata (both Tahiti), Wilmar Alexander Roldan (Colombia), Sandro MeiraRicci (Brazil), Roberto Garcia and Marco Antonio Rodriguez (both Mexico).

European giants Real Madrid and Juventus have been nominated for the Club of the Year prize at the annual Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai along with Bayern Munich, Ajax and Basel.

Real Madrid and Juventus are among the five European clubs on the shortlist for the prestigious Club of the Year award.

The European champions, who secured La Decima in May, will be in Dubai to play AC Milan in a friendly on December 30, and Carlo Ancelotti and his key players are expected to attend the ceremony the day before at the luxurious Atlantis, The Palm resort.

Real Madrid and Italian champions Juventus are joined on the shortlist by Bayern Munich, Ajax and Basel.

Other categories in the annual awards - organised by Globe Soccer in conjunction with the ECA, the European Club Association, and the EFAA, the European Football Agents’ Association - include Agent of the Year and Referee of the Year.

The nominations for Agent of the Year 2014 are Volker Struth, Pere Guardiola, Jorge Mendes and Giovanni Branchini.

All the winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony attended by influential football figures such as Michel Platini and Fabio Capello at the culmination of the Globe Soccer Conference on December 29.

Who is Bakary Papa Gassama?

He became a FIFA referee in 2007, and three years later officiated at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola. He also officiated at the 2012 Olympics in London, in which he was the fourth official for the finals (gold medal) match between Mexico and Brazil.

Gassama was also appointed as a referee at the 2012 and 2013 African Cup of Nations tournaments, as well as the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

He was named by the world football governing body, FIFA, as the official in charge of Nigeria’s deciding World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia in Calabar last November 2013, and for many more high profile qualifying matches.

He was one of the few African referees who officiated at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil and although he only got one game, he was voted by the Massimo Busacca-led team (FIFA Referees Committee) as one of the seven best performers at the tournament.