Anthony Yeboah has issued a damning verdict on the quality of Ghanaian referees and urged Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Kurt Okraku to channel as much effort and resources into improving it.
The former Leeds United striker says his time as a club owner in the lower divisions of Ghana football convinced him that referees were having an undue influence on games long before Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ Number 12 documentary blew the lid on it.
“They should help the referees because when the referees don’t have money, they are easy to get to,” he told GTV.
“They have to try find sponsors to pay the referees very well because it is very important because the league without referees is not possible and if the mistakes are many, then it leads to violence which is not good.
“Everybody knows this situation so when some of the clubs are doing their budget, they add what to pay referees so I decided I don’t want to mess up my image. I came from a poor background to do well in life and I didn’t want to let that go.”
Yeboah even claims the referees have agents who negotiate on their behalf.
“I was always complaining but I did not have any proof until Anas came along with Number 12. It’s terrible. I always complained then that if we don’t stop this, we will destroy Ghana football but nobody listened. This is one of the reasons why I don’t want any involvement with Ghana football because with my experience I can advise and all but if you talk they won’t listen,” he said.
Disillusioned with that quality of officiating, Yeboah says he decided running a football club was simply not worth it.
“After football, I wanted to give back to society with Yegoala FC and maybe find the next Yeboah but what I realized is that in Ghana football, when you don’t pay the referees you don’t win. The officials, everybody knew this situation already. I decided I didn’t want to soil my name and sold the club. I decided that I am paying players, paying coaches and I have to pay a referee too? No, I can’t do that.”
Yeboah said the system was so bad that even journalists did not bother highlighting the problems.
“When somebody calls me for an interview I don’t even want to talk because that time, the journalists front had become separate; one group for Nyantakyi and another group for others so when you talked about bribes they have no interest to follow it.”
By Michael Oti Adjei|3news.com|Ghana