By BONFACE OSANO
Gambian top referee Papa Gassama will officiate the CAF Champions League match between USM Alger and Gor Mahia at Stade Mustapha Tchaker, Blida, Algeria on Sunday.
He will be assisted by fellow countrymen Omar Darboe and Yaya Fanneh with Maudo Jallow, also from Gambia, serving as reserve ref.
Saidou Diori Maiga of Niger will be the match commissioner.
Gassama is regarded as one of Africa’s top whistle-blowers and has handed big games both within the continent and at the World Cup.
He was in charge of the abandoned CAF Champions League second leg final between Esperance de Tunis and Wydad Casablanca in Rades, Tunisia last season.
The match was later awarded to Esperance after appeal.
Gor Mahia are expected in Blida on Friday ahead of the first leg, first round match scheduled to kick-off at 10.00pm Kenyan time.
A favourable result will put K’Ogalo in pole position to reach the lucrative group stage when the two sides clash in the return match two weeks later in Nairobi.
Gor Mahia have organised a fundraiser on Tuesday to help them raise funds for the trip to Blida. The team is in bad shape financially after losing their shirt sponsor, SportPesa.
The Kenyan champions have never reached the group stage of the continental club championship, however, there is a good feeling among the fans that they stand a better chance of attaining the feat this time by virtue of starting the first leg away.