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04.08.2005 Football News

Referee Kwaning accepts DC verdict


Accra, Aug 4, GNA - Nsawam based referee Robert Mensah Kwaning has accepted the verdict of the Disciplinary Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), which ruled early this week that he is to forfeit his remuneration from the 13th week GT Premier League match between Hearts and King Faisal played at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra.

His assistants, Tetteh Opae and Innocentia Agbavitor will also serve the same punishments as the committee described their level of competence as "far below standard".

The committee's ruling is in connection with the incident, which occurred during the match, when soccer fans threw bagged water and missiles unto the pitch in protest against some inconsistent decisions of the referee during the game.

The referee again allowed a glaring handball, which resulted in a winning goal for Hearts.

Speaking to the GNA Sports, the referee said, he would not challenge the decision of the committee because it is fair, but said, he should have been held solely responsible for the incident.

According to the referee, he realised from the video of the game that, the winning goal scored by Hearts, was a handball and its effects caused Faisal to lose hence the decision of committee was in the right direction.

"When I weigh the consequences of what that goal caused Faisal, I think the decision to withhold my remunerations would not even match up to that."

Explaining the circumstances behind the goal, referee Kwaning said, "the incident happened at my blind side though I had a feeling that it was a handball but my assistants failed to signal me hence I could not whistle against it."

The referee who described himself as a very principled person, was quick to add that, he did not get the best of cooperation from his assistants though he has the final authority on proceedings in the game.

"I think the inadequate cooperation from my assistants can also be attributed to some of the decisions in the game," Referee Kwaning pointed out. However, I bear the full responsibility for what happened though I think my assistants should have been spared but " my greatest sympathy goes to Alhaji Abdul Karim Gruzah founder and chairman of King Faisal."

Referee Kwaning and his assistants Innocentia Agbavitor and Tetteh Opae were to have earn 700,000 cedis each from the game.

Referee Kwaning and his assistants came under incessant criticisms from both sides after the game, which ended 3-2 in favour of Hearts. Most of decisions were greeted with jeers and boos from the fans as players of both sides rushed on him on many occasions during the game to protest.

Coach Francis Oti-Akenten of King Faisal blamed the referee for the defeat as he argued that the referee contributed immensely to the victory of Hearts.

He said the referee took a series of inconsistent decisions and allowed Hearts to score two faulty goals, which handed them the maximum three points at stake, whilst coach Siegfried Banher also expressed similar sentiments in a post match interview.