October 23, 2021

Caf condemns assault on referees during Ghanaian league match

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Africa’s football governing body has expressed its displeasure following attacks on match officials during a league game in the West African country

The Confederation of African Football has strongly condemned the assault on match officials during a league game in Ghana.

The fixture in question was a Ghanaian Division One league showdown between Wamanafo Mighty Royals and Bofoakwa Tano, which was played on Sunday, March 28.

Immediately after full time, Mighty Royals’ fans clamped down heavily on referee Niatire Suntuo Aziz and his assistants Suleman Mohammed and Yakubu Abdul Rahman.

Although the Ghanaian Football Federation flew the Tamale based officials to Accra for extensive medical check-up, nonetheless, Caf has voiced its discontent with the ‘unacceptable’ act.

“The image and integrity of football in Africa is very important. Part of this is the complete respect of match officials and the role they play in our football,” general secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba was quoted by the Caf website.

“It is important that match officials feel they are completely protected and are free to apply the Fifa Laws of the Game without fear or prejudice.

“The reports coming from Ghana where match officials were assaulted are completely unacceptable.

“This behaviour has no place in our football and cannot be tolerated. Caf wishes the match officials a speedy recovery,” Mosengo-Omba said.

The football ruling body is also liaising with the Ghanaian football authorities towards getting a full report on what transpired, with the aim of finding a lasting panacea.

Wamanafo Mighty Royals had spoken against their fans’ ill-mannered behaviour, assuring that culprits would be brought to book as soon as possible.

“Unfortunately, there was agitation from the side of the supporters of Wamanafo Mighty Royals FC during and after the match against Bofoakwa FC on 28/03/2021, which led to assaults of the referees who handled the match,” they wrote in a statement.

“The management of Wamanafo Mighty Royals condemn the act and we solemnly express our displeasure against the act of the supporters.

“We are currently assisting the police on all necessary investigations to bring the culprits into justice.

“However, we plead pardon for the club from the side of the affected referees and the FA in general.”

Originally, the tie was billed to be played behind closed doors – a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19, but the home supporters invaded the stadium with little or no control from the hosts’ management.