Tributes have poured in for former Senegalese international football referee Badara Mamaya Sene, who died on Monday in his home town Rufisque, Senegal. He was 71.
Badara became a FIFA referee in 1984 and later became a permanent fixture in the continent. He officiated more than 84 International matches.
In 1992, he officiated the African Cup of Nations final between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in Senegal.
“Badara Mamaya Sene was able to raise the level of Senegalese refereeing like no other and at some point, “said Augustine Senghor, President of the Senegalese football federation. “Thanks to Badara, our refereeing had surpassed all other segments of our football.”
As a referee, Badara reached the very top and reffed a handful of the then junior world cup matches.
Alagie Faye, a retired Gambian FIFA referee whose friendship with Badara Mamaya Sene dated back decades, remembers him as “a true gentleman of the game and a great person away from football. Faye officiated several cup of nations games with Sene, notably the 1992 final in which Faye was the second assistant referee.
“Badara always reffed with a smile on his face, “Faye tells The Chronicle. “He’s always seen engaging players who duly respected him in the middle. His dead is a great loss to the continent and world refereeing.”
Matar Ba, Senegal’s Minister of Sports described Sene as an illustrious man who wore the colors of the country high. “He was a great man who has spared no effort to see his country shine, “Ba said. “He was a faithful companion of the President of the Republic, Macky Sall.”
Malang Diedhiou, one of the trio of Senegalese referees present in Russia at the 2018 World Cup, says he does not have the words to speak of the deceased. According to him, Badara Mamaya Sene “revolutionized Senegalese arbitration”. “He was the first Senegalese referee to officiate a CAN final in 1992,” said Diedhiou, adding that as a leader, he established international rules and requirements at the local level. He wanted his referees to be first everywhere.”
Badara Mamaya Sene also served as Mayor of his city, Rufisque. He was also one time President of the Confederation of African football referees committee.