Cote d'Ivoire - Ghana - 2015-02-08 - Bakary Papa Gassama

African Nations Cup 2015, final
Cote d'Ivoire - Ghana, 0 - 0

Fouls: 0-0
Penalties: 0-0
Yellow cards: 4-0
Red cards: 0-0
2015-02-08 by adir
Mr. Papa Gassama and the ars

Mr. Gassama, one of the younger generation of African referees, who had already officiated at WC 2014, proved to be the right choice for the final, performing better than many of his colleagues in the current tournament. In normal time he did not interfere too much, letting the game flow, sometimes in an almost erratic rhythm. There was one case where he perfectly used the delaying mechanism, waiting to see if advantage is available, and when things went wrong, blew his whistle and restarted the game from where the foul was committed (78'). On the other hand, in extra-time he became too cautious, whistling and stopping the game in every instance, and preferring to favour the defender on 50-50 occasions. The refereeing team did not detect Gyan (Ghana) treading (trampling?) on an opponent's foot, which brings me to the imbalanced brandishing of yellow cards - all of them (four) towards Cote d'Ivoire players. However, one of the four was booked very late in the game, while his provocative behaviour and dirty play deserved a much earlier booking, and probably a dismissal in a later stage (Bailly, yellow card: 105+1'). Actually he and Boye (Ghanna) could have (and probably should have) been sent-off simultanously in the most contentious moment of the game: while waiting for a free-kick to be taken by Ghanna, both players were embroiled in a brawl (58'). It was certainly Bailly to start, but Boye's reaction was violent, head-butting his opponent, who immediately tried to respond in kind. The referee called both players, but decided to just have a word with them and "close the case". Both players didn't learn any lesson... Both assistant referees had not much to do offside-wise. Mr. Camara (Senegal) could have seen Gyan's unsportsmanlike behaviour. Both ars made some mistakes concerning the direction of throw-ins and corner-kick vs goal-kick decisions. The most obvious mistake was made by Mr. Ahmed Ali (Sudan), when a free-kick taken by Mubarak (Ghana) was deflected-headed twice by two different Cote d'Ivoire players. What what should have been a corner-kick to Ghana was indicated as a goal-kick to the other team in a crucial minute (88'). Admittedly, the ref could have seen it himself, but probably did not want to overrule his assistant.