One of Ghana's controversial coaches, J. E. Sarpong, is to face the Disciplinary Committee to defend himself against charges of unruly behaviour levelled against him by Akatsi-based Class One referee, David H. K. Azalletey.
The report of last weekend's Division One League match between Coach Sarpong's club, Fair Point, and King Solomon at the Nkawkaw Park was categorical.
According to Referee Azalletey, the coach, also a tutor of Accra Academy, warned him: “I will destroy your career and go on radio to make sure that you do not handle matches.”
The report sighted by the Graphic Sports said the match was delayed due to a downpour but for no apparent reason, and without any provocation, Coach Sarpong attacked him verbally throughout the game.
Although Fair Point won by a lone goal, Sarpong never stopped to hurl insults at him, and what broke the camel's back was the threat of destroying his career.
But Coach Sarpong, known to be a friend of referees and a strong advocate of their welfare on radio, denied the report and said he had told the referee at the end of the match that the fact that there were no cameras did not mean that they were not being monitored.
He said he only reminded him of the role he plays for referees on radio but never threatened to destroy Referee Azalletey's career.
Coach Sarpong, who spoke to the Graphic Sports on phone, said for him to have complained about the referee even after winning the match meant that the referee's actions were grievous.
“There were occasions when I had congratulated referees including Referee Fletcher in defeat, but this referee was something else. Could you imagine that after the goal, he waited for about six seconds before he whistled? Why?”
"I thought the matter was over, but if he has decided to capture me in his report, I am also ready to face the Disciplinary Committee.”
Coach Sarpong's incident is one of three to be tackled by the Disciplinary Committee soonest. Also to come under the searchlight of the committee are Aduana Stars and Norchip.
Aduana officials, according to Referee Lord Mansfield Vuvor's report, ordered security personnel out of the Stadium and intimidated the away team, Chelsea, and the referees.
Aduana were reported to have hurled stones at assistant referee Two, Sarfo Adade, for allegedly signalling for an infringement against the home team. The match was stopped for two minutes for calm to prevail.
Although Aduana won 2-0, the referees were heckled and water poured on them while the police who resurfaced later looked on.
Norchip were said to have appeared in the wrong colours while the referee was attacked at the end of the match.
However, the report failed to mention whether it was the home team, Bibiani Goldstars fans or Norchip who attacked the referees.
The fans were also said to have rushed on assistant referee Sumaila Nuhu during recess for apparently signalling for an off-side position.
Story by Daniel Kenu