AFCON2019: Gassama, Dutch referee for Eagles/Algeria

AFCON2019: Gassama, Dutch referee for Eagles/Algeria

Gambian referee Papa Bakary Gassama and Dutchman Pol van Boekel will lead a team of match officials for Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 semifinal game between Nigeria and Algeria, reports

Gassama, 40, a highly rated African referee will be in charge of only his second game in this AFCON tournament at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday while Boekel will lead the team of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) for the game.

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 Senegalese El Hadji Malick Samba (Assistant Referee 1) who was one of the three VARs in Nigeria’s win over South Africa on Wednesday while Seydou Tiama from Burkina Faso will be the Assistant Referee 2. Victor Gomes from South Africa will be the fourth official.

Joining van Boekel on the VAR panel are Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe who was also on the panel in the Nigeria/South Africa game with South Africa’s Zakhele Siwela completing the list.

Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa will be the centre referee for the other semi final game between Senegal and Tunisia at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo, also on Sunday.

Fisayo Dairo reporting from Cairo

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