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Get to know Gambian footballer Bakery Jatta’s inspiring journey

Bakery Jatta Biography. African footballers. Bakery Jatta (born 6 June 1998) is a Gambian footballer who plays as a midfielder for Hamburger SV in the 2. Bundesliga. Here’s what we know about this talented player.


Jatta joined Hamburger SV in 2016 making his first team debut in April 2017 against Bremen. He became the first refugee to play in the Bundesliga. He played six games in his first season. Hamburg was relegated to the 2. Bundesliga in the 2017–18 season.

He became a regular player and scored his first professional goal in November 2018 against FC Erzgebirge Aue. In January 2019, he signed a new five-year contract with Hamburg. In January 2024, Jatta was linked to FC Augsburg and Werder Bremen but signed another five-year contract with Hamburg, lasting until 2029. He is currently the second-longest-serving player at HSV, after reserve goalkeeper Tom Mickel.

Jatta received a call-up from the Gambia national team in October 2019 but withdrew in November 2019 to focus on his club career.

Personal life

Bakery Jatta is said to have arrived in Germany as a refugee in 2015. However, in August 2019, suspicions about his identity emerged. A German press article by Sport Bild speculated that his real name was Bakery Daffeh and that he was older than claimed. Initially, neither the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees nor the local Hamburg authorities could confirm or deny his identity. Later reports cast doubt on the Sport Bild article. The Hamburger Abendblatt reported that a Bild reporter, who may have pretended to be a representative of the German Football Association (DFB), visited Gambia to gather information. A witness cited by Bild and Sport Bild strongly denied that Jatta and Daffeh were the same person.
Read more: The true story about Gambian HSV star Bakery Jatta’s real identity

Hamburger SV obtained Jatta’s birth certificate and passport, along with an affidavit from a clerk at the Gambian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Hamburg authority confirmed these documents on 2 September, stating there was no need for further investigation. Following this, 1. FC Nürnberg, VfL Bochum, and Karlsruher SC withdrew their objections to the matches Jatta played in.
Read more: Gambian footballer Bakary Jatta facing charges of illegal identity swap, could lose his residence permit

On 19 September, Bild/Sport Bild reported that Jatta had used an email address containing the name Bakary Daffeh in 2015. The local social authority in Bremen submitted a personal questionnaire filled out by Jatta to the Bremen police, noting significant inconsistencies. The Bremen prosecutor initially examined these facts but later closed the case.
Read more:Bakery Jatta case: Public prosecutor’s office lodges appeal against court decision.

In July 2020, police searched Jatta’s home in Hamburg suspecting him of violating the German residence act due to alleged false claims about his identity. Police seized his cell phone and other devices. In March 2022, the Hamburg-Altona court dismissed the case.