Egypt coach Querioz unloads on referee Gassama after AFCON semifinal against Cameroon

Egypt national team coach Carlos Queiroz slammed the performance of the Gambian referee Bakari Gassama, during arbitrating the Africa Cup of Nations semifinal match on Thursday against hosts Cameroon which the Pharaohs won on penalties.

Ahram Online , Friday 4 Feb 2022,
Egypt s Portuguese head coach Carlos Queiroz reacts during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 semi-final football match between Cameroon and Egypt at Stade d Olembe in Yaounde on February 3, 2022. AFP

The Portuguese coach revealed that Gassama went to Egypt’s locker room and threatened the technical staff ahead of the game, criticizing the Confederation of African Football 'for picking him for such an important game.'

"We hadn't started the game yet and he comes to the locker room to intimidate our staff. But even against this, against all the decisions, which were always against Egypt, we were the best team in the second half and on penalties,” Queiroz told reporters.

 "Again, unfortunately, they send this type of referees to a game of this level, referees with no experience, wanting to put on a show... It started right in the dressing room."

The Pharaohs coach also criticized the way Gassama dealt with the technical staff during the game accusing him of 'injustice,' as the Gambian referee sent off Queiroz and booked assistant coach Wael Gomaa a yellow card.

“It was clear what the referee meant to see or not to see, acting like he is Superman, showing me the yellow card and threatening me, I have 44 years of football, almost 70 years old, who are those who come to yell at me and in the face of Wael Gomaa? Children screaming as if we started our journey yesterday,” Queiroz explained.

"We are working, so why do they threaten us with a finger in the face, who gives these strength? This is the point, write this, they have already fired my assistant (Roger de Sa), he was the victim of an assault by the president of the Moroccan Federation, there were witnesses, he insulted him in the tunnel leading to the locker rooms attacked him, and CAF’s decision was to stop him for 4 matches and nothing for the president of the Moroccan Federation,” the Portuguese coach told reporters.

“CAF does not respect Egypt, from the timing of the matches to the quality of the stadiums, we had the worst stadiums, we are Egypt! How can this referee stay in the African Cup of Nations after what he did? Who understands this? No? Nobody!” he concluded.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has filed a complaint to CAF before Cameroon game for choosing Gassama to direct the game, but it didn’t go further, and also the EFA has requested from the CAF to postpone Egypt’s next game in the final against Senegal to be on Monday instead of Sunday because of the marathon games the Egyptians had during the last three games.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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