Qatar 2022: Profile of the Six African referees selected for FIFA World Cup

Six (6) African referees have been selected as match officials for the FIFA World Cup to be hosted in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.

The FIFA Referees Committee released the list of the match officials on Thursday including assistant and video match officials (VMO).

A FIFA statement said a total of 36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials (VMOs) have been chosen in close cooperation with the six confederations, based on their quality and the performances delivered at FIFA tournaments as well as at other international and domestic competitions in recent years.

The selected match officials will participate in early summer in several seminars (Asunción, Madrid and Doha), reviewing and analysing video clips of real match situations, and taking part in practical training sessions with players, which will be filmed to enable participants to receive instant feedback from the instructors.

The Africans referees are;

Bakary Papa Gassama is a Gambian football referee. He became a FIFA referee in 2007 and officiated at the 2012 Olympic tournament in which he was the fourth official for the gold medal match between Mexico and Brazil.

He also served as a referee at the 2012 and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, as well as the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

He officiated at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where he saw to the third group stage match in group B between the Netherlands and Chile on 23 June 2014.

Moreso, He also officiated the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Final match on 8 February 2015 between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and was the only African referee to officiated in the the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia;His only match at the competition was the Group A match between Mexico and New Zealand on 21 June 2017

Janny Sikazwe Zambian international football referee. He got his big break in 2008 at COSAFA U-20 Challenge Cup in South Africa when he was called to replace another referee who had failed a fitness test.

He refereed the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup Final in Japan, and the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Final in Gabon.

He was selected to officiate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and made his debut in the Belgium vs Panama Group G game on 18 June. The match also saw him going into the record books as he became the first Zambian referee to officiate a game at the FIFA World Cup finals.

Sikazwe also refereed at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, where he came under scrutiny for incorrectly calling for full-time twice in the Group F game between Mali and Tunisia on 12 January 2022.

Ghorbal Mustapha is an Algerian association football referee. He has been a full international referee for FIFA since 2014

He was in charge of the World Cup play-offs game between Senegal and Egypt where Senegal eventually beat Algeria on penalties to book one of Africa’s five slots at the Mundial.

He has also officiated games in the FIFA Club World Cup, CAF Champions League, CAF Confederation Cup among others.

Victor Gomes is a South African football referee. Victor Gomes has been flying the national flag high in recent times and also took charge of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final, becoming the first South African referee to do so.

Maguette Ndiaye is a Senegalese referee. He officiated Ghana’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against South Africa.

Also, Ndiaye has officiated in World Cup qualifiers, the Club World Cup, CAF Super Cup, AFCON finals, Under-20 World Cup, Africa Nations Championship and CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup matches.

Salima Mukansanga is an international football referee from Rwanda.

In 2022, Mukansanga became the first woman to referee at the African Cup of Nations leading out an all-woman officiating in the game between Zimbabwe and Guinea.

She has also officiated at the Olympics, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Africa Women Cup of Nations and CAF Women’s Champions League.


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