A teacher by profession, Idrissa Sarr held his whistle to become the first Mauritanian to survey the continent and represent his country in the days they struggled to exist on the international level.
CAFOnline.com met Sarr on the sidelines of the ongoing Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations to give his overview of the evolution of the game in his country.
The whole Mauritanian football family responds unanimously when it comes to former referee Idrissa Sarr.
"He is the first flag bearer in Mauritanian football," said the President of the Mauritanian Football Federation, Ahmed Yahya on the former international referee.
"Yes, he was an icon, our first ambassador", adds El Hadj Sy, president of ASAC Concorde, one of the flagship clubs in Mauritanian football.
Brahima Brazza, Mauritanian football expert talked proudly on the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations final.
“We only had eyes for him. The match did not interest me at all, and I don’t even remember the score and the winning team. All that interested me was the referee, our big brother Idrissa Sarr, who carried the national flag high,” Brazza said with pride.
At 70, Idrissa Sarr keeps a very clear memory which he recalled with a smile on his face.
“It will always be a great feeling to remember having been a good ambassador for my country across Africa and the world,” he said.
“I am a teacher, but people know me through my whistle. I am proud to have given my years to train the future elites of my country. Thanks to my whistle I succeeded to make my country known a little bit,” added Sarr.