How referees for the Hearts vs Kotoko game were whisked away from the Accra Sports Stadium

Sports News of Monday, 27 January 2020



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Match Officials for the Hearts of Oak versus Asante Kotoko game left the Accra Sports Stadium swiftly after the game before any of the supporters could identify them on Sunday.

Emmanuel Eshun served as the centre referee in the game which ended 2-1 in favour of Kotoko as Peter Dawsa and Haruna Bawa assisted on the sidelines whiles George Mawuli the 4th referee was in charge of affairs from the bench.

The centre referee angered some of the Hearts of Oak fans, after awarding a penalty to the visiting team, Asante Kotoko in a game which many of the fans thought would have ended in a stalemate.

Kotoko had taken the lead in the first half when Justice Blay headed in Augustine Okrah’s cross from a free-kick. The Phobians slowly warmed themselves into the game and in the second half, they cancelled the deficit when their talisman, Joseph Esso put the ball in the back of the net through a powerful header.

The game continued with both sides coming close to scoring, however, luck eluded the Phobians when the ball struck Mohammed Alhassan’s hand in the box to the full glare of the fans. Guinean striker Naby Keita stepped up and nicely placed the ball in the net sending Richard Arthur the wrong way.

Hearts of Oak tried their best to get level as they went all guns blazing in the final minutes of the game. The Phobians managed to get the ball inside the box as defender Raddy Ovouka went past his marker, sent a shot across which was intercepted by Habib Mohammed with his chest.

Many of home fans including the players called for a penalty but referee Emmanuel Eshun remained resolute to his decision when he allowed play to continue. The decision did not go down well for Hearts of Oak skipper Mohammed Fatau who approached the referee to question his decision.

Immediately referee Eshun signalled the end of the game, the Hearts players including some technical staff of the club rushed unto the pitch but the Ghana Police Service swiftly came to the rescue of the four referees who assembled at the center of the pitch.

The angered fans booed the match officials as they made their way towards the tunnel whiles the police marched them off the pitch. However, some fans quickly went to the car park anticipating to heckle the referees before they left the stadium.

But to the dismay of the spectators, the Ghana Police Service picked up intelligence and quickly put the four-match officials into a waiting vehicle which left the stadium through a gate which linked to the Accra International Conference Center.

Some fans who had grasped the police intelligence made a swift move to chase the car but the police had raised a barrier which deterred the irate fans from coming close though some brave one made their way through.

The police manage to calm the fans before leading them out of the car park.

There was no casualty or physical abuse as the Ghana Police Service safely manned the Accra Sports Stadium.

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