South African referee Victor Gomes recounts his epic encounter with Mohammed Salah in AFCON Final

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Victor Gomes last weekend became the first South African to officiate a final of the African Cup of Nations Cup (AFCON).

The highly-rated South African referee was faultless in the game as Senegal defeated Egypt 4-2 on penalty shootouts after a scoreless game to win their first ever AFCON trophy.

At some point in the game, Victor Gomes was captured handling his whistle and cards to Egyptian Star Mohammed Salah to take his place as official in the game after the Liverpool forward seem to have complained about an incident.

Victor Gomes handling his whistle and cards to Mohammed Salah

Recounting on the incident that has made Victor Gomes famous in the football circles, he said: “I respect all the players I officiate with, and I don’t like to talk about decisions I make on the field. However, I do like to highlight some points for educational purposes,” Gomes said in a press conference at Safa House on Thursday.

“Football has evolved tremendously in the past 10 to 20 years. The players have evolved, if you look at the salaries they earn, and they are highly respected. We are talking about top players [who play for clubs] around the world, not only in Africa.

“And I think that refereeing also has to evolve. We cannot stick to the old officiating and management styles.

“So all I can say is that on Sunday I chose to manage a top-class player in a way I thought would be deemed appropriately responsible, and I think football was the ultimate winner on the day,” he added.

Victor Gomes is highly regarded across the continent. The 39-year old has officiated a number of CAF games and will hope he makes the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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