Gomes opens up on viral Salah exchange

African Football

Leading referee Victor Gomes has opened up on his exchange with Egypt star Mohamed Salah during the 2021 CAF Africa Cup of Nations final.

South African match official Victor Gomes made headlines on Sunday when he offered Salah his whistle and cards following a string of complaints from the Egypt captain during the AFCON final.

The 39-year-old was praised for his handling of the situation in an overall refereeing performance that has seen him earn widespread acclaim across the footballing community.

"I respect the players that I officiate with and I don't like to talk about the decisions I make on the field," Gomes said during a media event on Thursday.

"However, I do like to highlight some points for educational purposes and I also believe we have a responsibility to report positively on football matters so that our work is understood.

"Football has evolved tremendously and so have the players, who are highly respected and paid. Refereeing also has to evolve in that manner.

"We can't stick to the old adage of officiating in a set way and style. All I can say is that on Sunday, I chose to manage a top-class player in a way I thought would be deemed appropriate and responsible. Football was the ultimate winner on the day."

Scroll through the gallery to see the 10 highest ranked African nations after AFCON 2021