Sports News of Thursday, 6 July 2017
The quadrennial congress of the Referees Association of Ghana (RFA) is scheduled for the Central regional capital of Cape Coast at the end of November this year.
For various reasons, many referees look forward with great interest when the Congress is due, only to end up in bitterness and regret afterwards.
This is mainly due to the fact that, despite the huge financial outlay and expenses involved, not much is derived by the average referee.
The general programme for the entire congress looks fantastic on paper, but the handling and execution almost always do not meet expectations.
Regional reports and accounts are presented in a very shabby manner.
Perhaps, the upcoming one will be different from the past ones.
The question of the accounts of the association and the way and manner in which they are handled used to be matters of deep concern.
It used to be in the immediate past that even national executive committee members see the figures in the accounts only at the Congress.
Even then, they only listened to the accounts at the time of presentation by the auditors.
They were never given copies to study and pass comments on. Fortunately, the current executives have departed from this autocratic path.
Now, on quarterly basis the accounts are discussed and examined at the Working Committee meetings of the Association.
It is hoped that the regional heads who attend these meetings do not behave like the former national executives and keep the accounts like their private bank accounts.
All may not be well, but in the main things appear to be better than the ‘Mugabe’ or ‘Hayatou’ past.
But perhaps, the greatest problem of the referees association is the method through which we elect our officers.
The practice whereby only three delegates from each region are allowed to colonise our voting rights and vote in the name and on behalf of the greater majority is almost ungodly.
The membership of the association is about 800.
The question is why and how should only 30 members be allowed to exercise the fundamental human rights of the rest of the members.
These delegates normally comprise the regional chairman, the secretary and one other who is likely to be the treasurer.
In most regions these are the unpopular and pliable members. In some regions too, these are the officers who do not account properly for regional funds.
I have been away from the centre of the administration of the association for a few years now.
But when I was around, there were occasions when some of those regional executive members were deeply involved in a lot of financial maladministion.
But they managed and were allowed to render some form of accounts on behalf of their regions.
There were even occasions when cheques were issued to cover regional registration fees when there were no funds in the regional accounts – a general design between those at the top of national finance control and the regions.
And so what happens at congress is that they would have to vote for the same old numbers at the helm of national affairs.
There should be no change, otherwise their bad practices would be revealed.
It was great mafia and any individual who was not ready to join was uprooted and voted out.
It is high time we abandoned the current voting scheme, although it is supposed to be constitutional.
At this year’s congress it would be appreciated if that portion of the constitution was amended so that any fee-paying member of the Referees Association would be allowed to exercise his right to directly elect our national officials.
We need brave men who can think ahead of time to carry out this change. The RAG is a very good association but it appears to have no vision.
To some, the present is enough, satisfying and sufficient. No, we have to make progress. We have been stagnant for far too long under visionless leadership.
Referees are in football and football is fast changing. Refereeing is changing very fast and if we do not join the moving wagon, we shall be left in the backwaters of progress.
Even in Ghana football, the other legs are moving forward, but the refereeing leg is stagnant and standing at ease.
The association does not really benefit its members, except those in leadership positions. One glaring concern is what we use our so-called benevolent funds for.
Like a village fund, it is only utilised for the dead. While footballers plan and think of their retirement, active referees must only benefit from their services when they are active.
Perhaps, this could be one reason why a few of them try to ‘make hay while the sun shines’.
The leaders of the association appropriate all the benefits of RAG to themselves and themselves only.
The least they can do is to utilise their meeting periods to fashion out good and beneficial policies for the members.nothing to do with one another.