Accra, Dec. 31, GNA - Mr Alex Quartey, one of Ghana's finest FIFA referees, has retired from active refereeing after 24 years of service on both the local and the international scenes.
Mr Quartey's resignation comes after he had reached the mandatory retiring age of 45 years set by the Federation of International Football (FIFA).
According to a statement issued by Mr Quartey, the decision to quit refereeing takes effect from Saturday, January 1 2004. Mr Quartey began his refereeing career in 1983, but has been in the elite league for 14 years, which has seen him handle high profile matches involving Ghana's most glamorous clubs Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak.
The referee also has to his credits, five FA Cup final matches. On the international scene, Mr Quartey gained his FIFA badge in 1994 after which he officiated in series of international matches. Among them were; the Africa Under-17 Soccer Tournament in 1999 in Bostwana, Africa Nations Cup 2000, co-hosted by Ghana and Nigeria and Mali 2002.
The renowned referee was among the few referees who were selected by South Africa to officiate in the Southern Africa Four-Nation Tournament in 1998.
Referee Quartey was the middleman in 2003, when Nigeria hosted Brazil in an international friendly match to commemorate the inauguration of the Abuja Sports Stadium.
Aside these, the Ghanaian referee has handled 18 Africa World Cup qualifying matches and has been a constant figure in the CAF Champions League since its inception in 1997.
The five times SWAG referee of the year handled the semi-final matches between Petro Athletico of Angola and Mamelodi Sundowns of South and Enyimba of Nigeria and USMA Club of Algeria in the 2000 and 2003 CAF Champions League Matches, respectively.
He was also in charge of the CAF Cup final match between Jearne d' Arc of Senegal and CS Faction of Tunisia in 1998.
In his farewell message referee Quartey said there were young and talented referees on the scene, who were capable of taking up the mantle from him and put the name of Ghana on a higher pedestal.
He expressed his appreciation to the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS), National Sports Council (NSC), Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA), Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG), Referees Association of Ghana (RAG) and the media for their support through out his career.