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Sports Features of Tuesday, 11 March 2014


Violence in football; western regional football, where we have gotten to?

Last year Mar 9, 2013 I did a story for on an STMA Division Two league match between home side Great Ahantas and away side Dolphins, a navy team, which ended in a riot with just two minutes to full time. I sat down and asked myself what has changed in the measures metted out to culprits involved in such 'nasty' incidents at out soccer venues? After last year's story, the club was only fined but even failed to pay the full amount.Leading to the club in question, Great Ahantas folding up. Dolphins had to settle all bills and the most tragic aspect is that no one was arrested and prosecuted thus allowing the matter to die a natural death and that is a pity I must say. The perpetrators of that barbaric act are walking freely on the street of Sekondi-Takoradi. Today where have we gotten to? A 21 year old class 3 referee by name kwame kyei andoah in the prestea district of the western region saw his untimely death after suffering harsh beatings in the hands of some irate supporters of the home based team, Bordie Gold stars. The game involved Bordie gold stars and Naajoe Royals of Samereboi in the western region division two league in which deceased was an Assistant one referee.
At a point in the conflict, one violent fan pulled out a sharp knife in an attempt to kill the referee but few persons stepped in to cool him down, but that was not enough as other fans went ahead to attack and beat the other referees. The beaten referees were fortunate to hurriedly join a moving car which came to their rescue. Just one week after the 'nasty' incident, the assistant line one referee passed away due to internal bleeding. I must say it is very horrible and should not be encouraged at any place. Nothing was said on the incident since the 1st of March 2014, until when the assistant line one referee passed away on the 8th of March. But since we have not had any official communication from the western regional football association it leaves much to be desired and makes some of us feel they are not committed in combating violence at our league centres in the region. Again some questions I wish to seek answers from the football authorities are
1. In the event that there is no security at a match center all the officials know they should not start the game, so I ask why did the officials take the risk of going on with a match while there was no security?
2. Was the western regional football association aware of the seemingly tension before the game and what did they do in ensuring security?
3. Again, just last Wednesday a similar incident happened in the western region and I want to know when the RFA will say something about it.
1. It is about time centres for lower division football games are changed and moved to district capitals where security personnel can be assured.
2. The days when the clubs pay the officials their officiating fees must end. This is because when an away team sees a home team giving out money to a referee they think it is bribe where in actual fact it is a deserving money for their transportation and officiating fee thus making the home team feel that they have paid the officials so they should win at all cost.
In conclusion I will say the Ghana Football Association (GFA) should pay equal attention to all leagues (Lower and upper divisoins) in order to curb some of these unfortunate incidents.Again strict disciplinary actions should be given to the pepertrators of actions which does not conform to the rules and regulation of the game.