Referee Kenny Padi suspended for awarding Kotoko ‘dubious’ penalty against Heart of Oak

Referee Kenny Padi

The Ghana Football Association has suspended referee Kenny Padi following his ‘dubious’ penalty decision in the Super Clash between Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak.

Franck Mbella Etouga converted the penalty to secure a 1-0 victory for Asante Kotoko to edge them closer to the Ghana Premier League title.

Hearts of Oak filed a protest against the referee, and the GFA Match Review Panel has ruled that Padi will not officiate any matches for the rest of the season.

Decision below:


  1. In the 14th minute of play, Referee Kenny Padi awarded a dubious penalty to Asante Kotoko when Hearts of Oak player, Nurudeen Abdul-Aziz won a 50 ball in their 18-yard box from Fabio Gama (No. 10) of Asante Kotoko.

Referees Response

The referee insisted that the Hearts player stepped on the foot of the Kotoko player which he later agreed that there was no stepping of foot after watching the video. He then defended that there was a push and pull at a point, which the video clearly showed that it was not the case.


Per the video watched in relation to the 14th minutes incident, player number 24 of Hearts of Oak challenged player number 10 of Asante Kotoko fairly. There was no foul committed which warranted any penalty. The hand on the back of the attacker had no impact on the attacker. More so the attacker should not have failing backwards if the fall was because of the hand of the defender, obviously it was not a push so falling backward suggest a premeditated attempt to fake a foul.

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We also considered some factors:

  1. If there was pushing as claimed by the referee, we did not see any movement of the arm from the back to forward. Meaning no HAND MOVEMENT
  2. Neither pulling movement from front to back.
  3. The attacker was already throwing himself down in a completely strange way.
  4. If there was pulling or pushing as claimed by the referee, the attacker should have fallen on the face and not with his back as seen in the video. (FOOTBALL UNDERSTANDING)

The video also showed quite a number of inconsistencies in his decisions during his officiating of the match, especially after the penalty incident. The referee lost concentration.


The Panel concluded that, per the video watched, and the referee’s defense is in contrast.

Per the video watched the Panel holds the view that the referee erred in awarding the penalty. This error changed the outcome of the match.

Therefore, the Referee Joseph Kenny Padi is suspended for the rest of the season. This includes all GFA organized matches.



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