AFCON 2015: Ghana playing down refereeing concerns ahead of semi-finals

Ghana are playing down concerns over bad officiating in favour of Equatorial Guinea ahead of their semi-final clash with the hosts on Thursday at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Black Stars have decided to concentrate on their matches instead of complaining about refereeing which seems to have favoured Equatorial Guinea that has steered them to the last four of Africa’s flagship football competition.

Africa’s governing body CAF has been heavily criticized after the award of a dubious penalty by Seechurn Rajindraprasad from Mauritius in the quarter-finals which helped Equatorial Guinea to qualify.

CAF has responded by sacking the referee from the tournament, slapping him with a six-month ban and demoting his rank in the refereeing division.

This looks to have assured Ghana coach Avram Grant who wants to focus on the matches rather than complaining about refereeing.

“I want to believe everything outside the pitch is good. I want to believe that apart from one or two games the refereeing has been good so I believe that everything will go well,” the Israeli said about fears of biased officiating when the Black Stars face the Nzalang Nationale on Thursday.

The Ghana boss says keeping his eye on the ball will be more beneficial than fretting about officiating.

“It will not be easy because every team that has qualified for the semi-finals is favourite. I want to focus on my team.”

The Ghana FA president touched on the worries of fans who feel the host nation are capable of unduly influencing officials to do their will.

“In every tournament at even the highest level we have episodes of poor refereeing. The officials chosen for our semifinal are some f the highest ranked in Africa and I have utmost confidence that they will have a good game,” said Kwesi Nyantakyi.

The Black Stars are looking to finally go past the semifinal this time after four straight times of crashing out at this stage.

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