The Gambian international football referee, Mr. Bakary Papa Gassama, has been designated “Person Of The Year 2015” by the Gambia News & Report weekly Magazine.
In a letter conveying the news of the award to Mr.Gassama, Mr. Swaebou Conateh, proprietor of the Dippakunda-based Gambia Communication Agency and Baroueli Enterprises, the publishers of the News & Report Magazine, stated that the Gambian iconic referee’s selection by the management of the paper was because they are satisfied that “you have met the criteria for the award” in view of “the exemplary strides you continue to make as a referee” resulting to your appearance at the World Cup tournament and, in 2015, at Equatorial Guinea CAF tournament, and because of other recognitions you have received, and continued to receive internationally, through your selection as a FIFA referee; you have officiated at the 2012 Olympics Football tournament in London; FIFA World Cup 2014; and you also successfully officiated the African Cup of Nations final between Ghana and Ivory Coast in 2015”.
In view of the fact that:
- Your participation at both the World Cup and African Cup tournaments had earned you much respect and admiration not only in the Gambia but also world at large, and has raised The Gambia’s flag high during these international assignments.
- Your case illustrates possibilities for our individual citizens, particularly the young people, who care enough about our country’s standing in today’s world, and about the development of its sports.
By such examples, you have earned for yourself a name and an indelible place in not only our country’s history- as first Gambian referee to officiate at such an international level; that you also officiated games in the Qatari domestic football league. You also bagged the CAF best African referee award.
“Since we also believe that your story will continue to inspire many Gambians and Africans in sports and other fields, we take this opportunity to salute you for what you have been able to achieve in the annals of our country’s history. We know your sacrifice, steadfastness and highly commendable contribution are bound to remain a source of inspiration and exemplary conduct to our citizens for now and generations unborn.
The criteria for selecting “Person of the Year” (previously Man of the Year or Gambian of the Year”) is based on the following considerations:
1). The person selected must be someone who, through his/her work, profession or personal endeavour, is judged to have contributed the most to the public welfare and to advancing the country’s development in the interest of all Gambians.
2). He or she must have contributed significantly in enhancing in a direct and tangible form, the social and economic status of Gambians as a whole.
3). He or she would have put in place for posterity facilities and or infrastructures and other achievements that can serve as a lasting memorial of his/her contributions to national development.