The Gambian Football Federation has asked Fifa and CAF to open an investigation into the latest statements by national coach Djamel Belmadi against referee Bakary Gassama, who officiated Algeria-Cameroon on March 29. The GFF imposed sanctions on Belmadi for defamation.
During his last media outing, Djamel Belmadi fired red balls at referee Bakary Gassama. He even recounted his verbal altercation with him which broke out with the Gambian at Algiers airport just after the return match of the Algeria-Cameroon play-offs, while calling him “Hagar”, for having harmed the national team during said game. The least we can say is that his statement went beyond borders and created a great controversy.
While the Cameroonian federation reacted through a press release, where it decided to file a complaint against Belmadi with the FIFA ethics commission, the former Cameroonian international Patrick Mboma added a layer, saying that Gassama is one of the best referees on the African continent. Former French referee Tony Chapron threw a stone into the water by calling the national coach mediocre.
This afternoon, it was the turn of the Gambian Football Federation to step up to defend its compatriot. Indeed, she asked FIFA and CAF to open an investigation while pronouncing disciplinary sanctions against Belmadi. It is through an official press release that the GFF asks the FAF to distance itself from the remarks of the national coach when Amara had supported them in a statement made on Tuesday evening.
Belmadi under pressure
“The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) would like to inform its stakeholders and the general public that it is following with grave concern the continued verbal attacks on the person of the Gambian FIFA referee, Mr Bakary Papa Gassama, by Algerian nationals through various forms of media, since he officiated Algeria’s 2-1 loss to Cameroon in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers played on March 29, 2022.” kicked off the GFF its release.
And to add: “The Federation has filed a formal complaint with the Algerian Football Federation on this subject and has formally requested FIFA and CAF to open investigations and disciplinary proceedings against the head coach of the club. national football team of Algeria Mr. Djamel Belmadi for his remarks on a video clip and on Algerian television…we have also asked the Algerian federation to make a public statement condemning the actions of Mr. Belmadi and all verbal attacks against Mr. Gassama by the Algerians”.
A new reaction which will undoubtedly be additional pressure on the shoulders of Djamel Belmadi. He could pay dearly for “his skid” during his last media outing in the event that he receives a sanction from the international body.