Referees in Ghana must start thinking of how to employ a defensive mechanism in their line of duty by arming themselves with guns and knives because the superior bodies mandated to seek their welfare care little about their plight, a young referee has adduced.
The spate of hooliganism and resultant assault on match officials has become rampant in recent years as many of these men in Black come under mob attacks every weekend and across the various football divisions.
Last week, young referee Kyei Andoh died days after being assaulted while officiating a lower division game in the Western Region opening whole new chapter of crowd violence in the domestic game.
But 25-year-old referee Dwamena Evans who has twice been a victim of mob attack claims he quit the refereeing profession for fear of his life. He has therefore called on his colleagues to either do same or start arming themselves as a defensive measure.
Dwamena told ANGEL FM “I was in the second cycle school when I developed interest in the profession because I got enthused about learning new rules and applying them to influence game but it seems the situation is different in Ghana”.
“I was severely beaten after a lower division game in the Brong Ahafo Region and for the first time, I thought it was one of the job hazards but after I was attacked for the second time, I only survived by dint of luck and so I took a decision to quit and choose another profession which is safe, and I am a trained teacher now”.
“If the referees know they cannot quit the job, then they must arm themselves on the field either with a gun or a small pistol so that in time of attacks, you also defend yourself with it because in football, they say the best way to defend is to attack”.
“I’m not preaching violence but because the bodies mandated to seek our welfare cannot fight for us, we have to fight for our lives. When you are beaten, the Regional FA will just visit you with milk and eggs and can that save your life?.
“One our brothers is dead and you expect the rest to go to a centre without any defensive tactic?, the hooligans have killed a referee and if drastic measures are not put in place, very soon a referee will also kill a hooligan so that FIFA will take up the matter”.