Sep 4, 2009, 6:08 AM
Lamin Camara, the Chairman of the Gambia Referees Committee, has reacted to claims made against Bakary Papa Gassama that he was dropped from officiating the CAF African Champions League semi-final match between holders, Esperance of Tunisia against TP Mazembe of DR Congo, because of his “incapability”.
“We feel very bad and disappointed to see this in the newspaper,” he said, adding that the reason Papa was dropped was because he was the one that officiated the TP Mazembe game against Chelsea of Ghana in their quarter-final, and it is not allowed for a referee to officiate two games of a team in a row in such a competition.
Camara further stated that when they saw Papa’s name on the list for that match they were not happy, because it is not good for him, and were pleased about the reason why Papa was dropped.
“If you scheduled him to play that game anything could have happened. God forbid, if he was there and there was an error, he is in trouble.
“Thank God, CAF realize the error,” he said, adding that it is unfortunate that a particular newspaper reported that it was because he was incapable”.
He said Papa is one of the best referees in Africa as of today, and that he also understands that when he joined the other 52 top referees from all over the world, he came out as the first as far as fitness is concern, while calling on journalists to verify their facts before tarnishing the image of our referees.
He stated that it is definitely wrong, unacceptable and disappointing to carry such a damaging story on a referee who is really trying.