Sports News of Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Ghana’s 1995 Fifa Under-17 World Cup winner Awudu Issaka believes poor working conditions of referees will work against reforms to wipe out corruption and bribery from the country’s game.
A Normalization Committee – set up by Fifa – presently runs football in the West African nation after an investigative documentary exposed corrupt and match-fixing activities of top officials and referees of the football association.
Several referees have been suspended as a result of the June exposé, some hit as hard as with life bans.
“We have to be honest with ourselves and lower our expectation for the Normalization Committee,” Issaka, now a self-acclaimed coach and football administrator, told Asempa FM.
“I say this because there is no way that the bribery in Ghana football will stop.
“It will never stop because club officials are not ready to stop and the referees are also poorly paid to the extent that they need to depend on the gifts that home clubs offer them.
“Sometimes, I give the referees who officiate in my [club’s] games appreciation fee, and I don’t see it as a bribe.
“It doesn’t matter whether I lose the game or win, I still give them because I know how poorly they are paid.”
The Referees Association of Ghana earlier this month, banned as many as 61 referees fingered in the exposé.
Eight of the 61 have been suspended for life.
The poor working conditions and remuneration of referees across Ghana’s football divisions, though, has been an age-old concern.