The round leather game cannot be played without a referee; hence the presence of a referee in every football match.
Referees are first described in football by Richard Mulcaster in 1581 and since then they’ve been playing a vital role in any match.
Most high ranked and renowned referees are in Europe and their exploits in European competitions like the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Euros, and UEFA Europa Cup competitions and to some extent, World Cup competitions have made them more popular than the rest of other referees in the world.
However, we have some of their African counterparts who have gone to make name for themselves in the world by officiating in some crucial matches at a point in their respective careers.
Cheapgoals team has deemed it fit to celebrate some of the great African referees.
10. BAMLAK TESSEMA
Bamlak Tessema Weyesa is an Ethiopian. A medical researcher, a clinical coordinator and a sociology graduate (2012) from Addis Ababa University. He started officiating in 2003 and became international Djibouti vs Somalia in 2010 as his first international match.
He has been very active during CECAFA Cup 2010 ( He officiated 5 matches including the Final between Tanzania and Ivory Coast) and CECAFA Cup 2011 (4 matches). In 2012 he was also appointed for one Champions League match in Tanzania (1st round) , and one CAF Confederation Cup in Egypt (2nd round).
Since he became an international referee in 2009, He has served as a referee at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, beginning with the first-round match between Djibouti and Namibia. He has also officiated matches in the Club World Cup, CAF Champions League, and many other notable competitions.
9. BAKARY GASSAMA
Bakary Papa Gassama is a Gambian Football Referee. Gassama became a FIFA referee in 2007. He 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 African Cup of Nations tournaments, as well as the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers.
In March 2013, FIFA named Gassama as one of the fifty potential referees for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. On 15 January 2014, FIFA announced that he would be one of the 25 referees for the tournament. His assistants were announced to be Evarist Menkouandé and Felicien Kabanda. He officiated the third group stage match in Group B between the Netherlands and Chile on 23 June 2014. He officiated the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations match on 8 February 2015 between Ghana and Côted’Ivoire.
On 27 April 2017, Gassama, a one-time CAF Referee of the year was selected as CAF’s sole referee for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. His assistants were announced to be Jean Claude Birumushahu (Burundi) and Marwa Range (Kenya), and his video assistant referee was appointed to be Malang Diedhou (Senegal). His only match at the competition was the Group A match between Mexico and New Zealand.
8. GEHAD GRISHA
Gehad Zaglol Grisha is an Egyptian Football Referee. He has been a Referee of FIFA since 2006 and a member of the CAF Elite since 2013.
Grisha made his main international debut during the 2012 African Cup of Nations, officiating a group stage match between Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso as well as the third-place match between Ghana and Mali.
He was also selected to officiate at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, appearing as a fourth official in four matches and as the main referee in one match. Following the tournament, Grisha became a member of the CAF Elite and was selected to appear at every Africa Cup of Nations tournament since 2013 alongside other CAF competitions.
Grisha served as a referee at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and officiated a match between England and Panama. Grisha was the first Egyptian referee to appear at the World Cup since 2006.
7. JANNY SIKAZWE
Janny Sikazwe is a Zambian International Football Referee. He got his big break in 2008 at COSAFA U-20 Challenges in South Africa when he was called to replace another referee who had failed a fitness test. He is known for allowing games to flow without stoppages and many yellow cards.
He was one of the referees for the 2015 African Cup of Nations; He officiates the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, and the 2017 African Cup of Nations Final in Gabon.
He was selected to officiate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and made his debut in 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. As well as another game at the FIFA World Cup in the Group H game against Poland and Japan.
6. MALANG DIEDHIOU
Malang Diedhiou is an international football Referee from Senegal. He has officiated matches in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. He was also a video assistant referee during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Diedhiou was also a referee in the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia where he officiated three group stage games. The games include Costa Rica vs Serbia, Uruguay vs Russia and Belgium vs Japan.
His immense and unmeasurable experience in the officiating job has earned him recognition and Nominations from CAF as the Best Football Referee on numerous occasions.
5. GLADYS LENGWE
Perhaps the best female referee we have in Africa. Gladys Lengwe is an international Football referee from Zambia. She is an official at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
The 40-year-old’s achievements speak volumes. She became the first woman in Africa to officiate top-flight matches and was named Referee of the Year in her homeland in 2012.
Lengwe also showcased her skills at the international level when she became one of three female African match officials to be nominated for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 in Canada, overseeing the group match between Germany and Women’s World Cup debutantes Thailand. She also officiates at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament 2016 in Rio – a tournament she will never forget.
4. EDDY MAILLET
Almost the only way for a tiny nation like Seychelles to achieve anything at all in international football is to get a referee selected to officiate in big tournaments. Luckily Seychelles have Eddy Maillet.
Eddy Allen Maillet is a Seychellois Football Referee, born in Victoria. He has been a full international referee for FIFA since 2001. Maillet became an international official in 2001 and three years later he officiates two group stage matches in the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunis 2004. From then on was the CAN every two years: 2006, 2008 and 2010, qualifiers, the final of two Confederation Cups.
READ ALSO: Top 10 African Midfielders Since 2016
Living on Seychelles must be a good thing for a referee, Eddy Maillet does not only take charge of African matches, he was also selected for the 2007 Asia Cup. Two months later he was active in the U17 World Cup in Korea. Currently, Eddy is the National Referee Coordinator of Seychelles.
Eddy got two matches in the group stage of the World Cup. Slovakia vs Paraguay and Honduras vs Chile.
3. NOUMANDIEZ DOUÉ
Noumandiez Doué is a football referee from Côte d’Ivoire. He became a FIFA referee in 2004. Doué has officiated in international tournaments including 2010, 2012 and 2013 African Cup of Nations competitions. He has also officiated at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 2011 CAF Champions League Final, the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup and qualifying matches for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
In 2011, Doué was named Referee of the Year by the Confederation of African Football. Noumandiez Doue was selected for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil in which he officiated two matches.
2. BADARA DIATTA
Another strict and no-nonsense African referee. One special thing about the Senegalese is how diplomatic he officiates; he’s always prudent with how he books every player on the pitch.
Badara Diatta has been an international referee since 1999. His list of matches is long. He was at the 2008 Olympic Games, 2008, 2010 and 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, at the last one he took charge of the final. Also, he’s a one time winner of the CAF Referee of The Year Award.
His first big international tournament was the African Youth tournament in Abuja (Nigeria) in October 2003. Diatta was selected for the African Cup in Egypt in 2006. He was banned for a year by CAN in 2007, but strangely enough, selected within the year for the African Cup in Ghana 2008. Again in 2008, he got selected for the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Badara Diatta was on the 54 members shortlist of candidates for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but not on the definite list. Though he was selected for CAN 2010 in Angola and CAN 2012 Gabon.
1. DJAMEL HAIMOUDI
Haimoudi is definitely one of Africa’s top referees; having won the CAF Referee of The Year awards for two consecutive times. He took charge of qualifiers for the World Cup, the CAF Champions League, three African Nations Cups, and the 2011 U20 World Cup.
Haimoudi is an Algerian football referee. He has been a FIFA-listed international referee since 2004, and in 2012 he won the title of AFC referee of the year. It was a year was Djamel officiated at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea as well as at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.
Djamel Haimoudi was selected for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil in which he officiated four matches including the match for third place. He remains a household name in Africa that many when they hear tend to give a whole lot of respect.
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
2 Potential Manager To Replace Hansi Flick
Hansi Flick awesome reign with the Bavarian giant is gradually winding down, as it’s looking likely that he may not further manage the Die Roten next season.
Bayern Munich’s quest to win the Champions League consecutively came to end on Tuesday night, via the UEFA’s away goal rules having lost the first leg at home to Paris Saint Germain in the quarter-finals despite being the better side at home.
The Bavarian giant will now focus on league duty and they’re no doubt the team in pole position to win the Bundesliga, as the 2020-21 campaign is gradually coasting home with fewer games left to be played. In that regard, there is a great need for Die Roten to start preparing for next season administration and coaching wise.
The friction relationship between Hansi Flick and the Sports Director has broken down to such as extent that the manager has decided to terminate his current contract.
Hansi Flick sent shock waves through German football on Saturday after a 3-2 win over Wolfburg which keeps the Bavarian in pole position to retain the league title. Hansi Flick issued a statement about his decision to exit when the current campaign draws to a close.
“I told the team today that I informed the club during the week, after the game in Paris, I would like to terminate my contract at the end of the season.
“It was important to me that the team learn this from me because there was already a lot of hallway rumours going around.
“We’ve done a great job together for almost two years. I’m absolutely impressed with this team, their quality and their attitude.”
He added: “I also want to thank the club that gave me the chance to manage this incredible team.
“This decision was not easy for me. I’m a fan of this club. Gerd Müller, Paul Breitner, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge all were childhood idols for me.
“I’m eternally grateful to the club for the chance they gave me to become head coach here.”
It’s quite evident that a new manager would be appointed to pave way for a new rebuild of the team especially with the looming departure of David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, and Javi Martinez.
Two potential top managers that could succeed Hansi Flick, should he accept Die Mannschaft managerial position.
- Julien Nagelsmann – (RB Leipzig)
Nagelsmann has been rumoured as a possible replacement to succeed not one but many managers in Europe’s top-flight leagues whose future with their respective clubs are not guaranteed. This time around, the 33-year-old has been rumoured to be one of the possible potential managers to succeed Hansi Flick.
It could be argued that Nagelsmann is the tailor-made manager to take over the reins at the Allianz Arena, and there is no doubt RB Leipzig manager would certainly harbour the dream of managing one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Nagelsmann is presently focusing on the job at hand with RB Leipzig, plus the fact that he’s still under contract with his employers until the end of the 2022-23 season.
With RB Leipzig and Nagelsmann flying high in the Bundesliga in terms of team performances, with next season European football spot already secured, the club’s Executive Director Oliver Mintzlaff may consider letting him leave to join their rival.
However, it’s left to be seen how things would shape up at the end of the campaign.
READ ALSO: 10 Managers Currently Managing Former Clubs
- Jurgen Klopp – (Liverpool)
The relationship the German tactician has achieved thus far with Liverpool started in 2015 when he joined the Kop from Borussia Dortmund, since then he has achieved quite an incredible success with the Reds winning their first league title after thirty years and a Champions League triumph.
Liverpool were eliminated early in both domestic cup competitions and failed to progress past the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and it’s quite impossible to say that the Kop will defend their title with their current epileptic form in the Premier League especially when it’s looking done and dusted that the cityzen would clinch the title.
Having used close to six years with Liverpool since he joined the Anfield side, this could be the perfect time for the former Borussia Dortmund manager to take up a new challenge. However, despite Liverpool’s unpalatable 2020-21 campaign, the German has often reiterated that he is in no way finished at Liverpool, despite been link to the Bayern Munich and Die Mannschaft managerial position.
Given his incredible success with BVB, it’s quite evident that he would one day go on to manage either Die Roten or Die Mannschaft. Should Bayern secure the service of Klopp, he would certainly be the right and wise choice for the Bavarian giant.
At the end of the campaign, there would be a breath of fresh air in the Bavarian giant camp, with the new CEO Oliver Kahn taking the mantle of leadership from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. In that sense, it’s left to be seen if the incoming leader would sanction the appointment of a new manager or stick with Hansi Flick. Only time would tell.