Egyptian Premier League champions Al Ahly have demanded a special observation from CAF for Gambian referee Papa Bakary Gassama in their CAF Champions League clash against South African outfit Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.
Al Ahly have sent a letter to CAF regarding their concerns over Gassama, and have requested that he be monitored for any signs of corruption or match-fixing.
Gassama, 41-years-old, is one of the most respected officials on the continent. Gassama was selected as CAF’s sole referee for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. The next year, he officiated at the FIFA World Cup, also held in Russia.
He was under intense spotlight during the second leg of the 2019 CAF Champions League Final, when Wydad players refused to play due to the absence of VAR.
Despite the calamity of that match, it is widley believed that Gassama was not at fault and handled the situation as well as he could.
It is also worth noting that Gassama officiated Al Ahly’s 1-0 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in the second leg of last year’s CAFCL Quarter-Finals tie that saw the Red Devils lose 5-1 on aggregate.