For the umpteenth time, the world football governing body, FIFA has shunned Nigeria as there will be no Nigerian official at the 2022 World Cup to be staged in Qatar this year.
Rather FIFA beamed its torchlight to eight other African countries to pick the best referee to be part of the 36 match referees for the tournament. They are accompanied by 63 assistant referees and another 36 VAR officials.
However, FIFA will announce the final list of referees 1 month before the world cup starts.
Gambian referee, Bakary Papa Gassama is among the eight (8) referees from Africa who will be officiating the Qatar 🇶🇦 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The top eight referees from Africa have been selected to take part in the 64 games that will be played at the tournament.
They will undergo training for some months ahead of the tournament which kick starts in seven months.
According to FIFA, referees that have achieved the highest qualification level only can officiate in international FIFA matches.
All referees affiliated with FIFA have a designated grade and must advance in grade in order to referee higher-level matches.
Only Grade 1 referees can serve as the head referee on formal international matches and Grade 2 referees as the linesman.
Referees selected for the Mundial are Jean Jacques Ndala (RD Congo), Mustapha, Ghorbal (Algeria), Redouane Jiyed (Morocco), Papa Bakary Gassama (Gambia), Balmak Tessema (Ethiopia), Victor Gomez (South Africa), Janny Sikazwe (Zambia), and Maguette N’diaye (Senegal).
The tournament is scheduled to kick off from November 21- 18 December with the opening game between Qatar and Ecuador.
How Referees are selected
Referees for FIFA World Cup are chosen under the FIFA regulation process. This Process lasted 3 years and the whole process is managed by FIFA Referee Assitance Program (RAP).
By the end of the process, Referees are chosen in teams of 3. One designated head referee and two assistant referees.
The selection process for FIFA World Cup 2022 begins with the club world cup in UAE when referees of the tournament were examined to see if they were ready to be candidates for 2022.
Based on referee performance, the FIFA Refereeing Department created a list of the 52 most elite referee teams.
If a referee does not pass fitness tests or fails in another manner, he will no longer be considered.