Referee Samuel Gyasi was supposed to handle the Liberty-Kotoko First Capital Plus Premier League game at the Carl Reindorf Park, Dansoman but on the match day, it was Referee Samuel Sukah who was at the centre of affairs.
Kotoko was not given any notice of the last minute change. On the next match day, Kotoko welcoming Heart of Lions to Kumasi, Referee Joseph Lamptey was named as the referee for the match but eventually it was Referee E. R. Biney who was seen in the middle of affairs. Again, Kotoko had no wind of the last minute change.
These developments have sent Kotoko managers and a number of supporters on an unhappy course with others asking questions. Acting General Manager, Opoku Nti, in an interview with asantekotokosc.com, noted with amazement, why referees assigned for the club’s matches would be changed at the last minute with no notice being served on management.
In recent times, the practice has been that, names of officials for league matches are published on the FA’s website so clubs and the media are well informed of officials for every game. Kotoko’s beef has to do with the changes that were made in the published names of referees for the matches against Liberty and Heart of Lions which were altered at the last minute.
When contacted, a member of the Referees Committee, Retired Referee Alex Quartey, explained that, because their committee is a sub-committee of the FA, they don’t deal with clubs directly adding that, apart from their publication, “Teams are not informed when it becomes necessary to change a referee for a match”.
Alex Quartey, one of the best referees Ghana has seen, assured that the Referees Committee has no agenda against any club.
Touching on Kotoko’s specific issues, the retired referee said, because Referee Samuel Gyasi reported indisposed for the Liberty game; Samuel Sukah, who would have been the fourth referee, had Samuel Gyasi turned up, was given the match.
“On the team of referees who were named for that match, Samuel Sukah was the most experienced outside Samuel Gyasi” said Referee Quartey. In the case of Joseph Lamptey, he was billed to travel to Sudan on Thursday. Therefore, he was replaced with Biney” he stated.
“We are committed to developing our football. We want clubs, the PLB and the GFA to be successful. We have no agenda and we won’t change referees for any ill-motive” he ended.