Kotoko, Hearts games scare us – Former referee reveals

Former referee in the Ghana Premier League (GPL), Charles Dowuona has stated emphatically most of the senior referees in the country do not have the heart to officiate games between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak encounters.

Games between the two most glamorous clubs in the country have in recent years ended in controversies, as referees have been fingered to be the cause, with the first round encounter being no exception.

Centre referee Samuel Suker was vilified and castigated especially among the Kotoko fans for awarding Hearts a dubious penalty until the Ghana Football Association (GFA) review panel cleared him of any wrongdoing and declared the call was right.

The Referees Appointment Committee have been under constant pressure on who to appoint to officiate games between the two sides.

The committee is sometimes forced to seek the opinion of the two teams so as to satisfy both clubs.

“Even if you are good in officiating, you need to have the heart to handle this game,” Dowuona told Ultimate FM.

“Everybody is pulling the strings. There is pressure on you as a referee because others will call you wanting fair officiating whiles others will intimidate and warn you as well. You need a very strong heart to withstand the pressure.

That is why we have problems in appointing referees to officiate such matches. Let me make this clear, most of the senior referees don’t want to officiate Kotoko and Hearts games,” he added.

Asante Kotoko will welcome their eternal rival Hearts of Oak to the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday, as they clear their match day 23 outstanding game after being inactive since their fatal accident on July 12.

With officials yet to be named for the Sunday game, the Referees Appointment Committee is expected to name officials latest by Thursday.

Source: Ghana/ultimatefmonline.com/106.9FM/Kofi Amoah