The plans of world’s football governing body, Federation International Football Association (FIFA), and the Ghana Football Association through the Normalization Committee to build men and women of Integrity to officiate football matches in Ghana and beyond, got to a great start after a successful one week intensive training course for 150 referees in Ghana at Fievie, near Sogakope.
A FIFA team led by Confederation of African Football Referees Committee Vice President, An Yan Lim Kee Chong of Mauritius, supported by retired Zimbabwean FIFA Referee Felix Tangawarima and Boubaker Hannachi of Tunisia and other local experts took participants through lessons on Integrity, match fixing, management, laws of the game and fitness.
In an exclusive interview with Volta Premier FM, team leader, Lim stated that, the situation in Ghana football where referees were captured on tape accepting bribes compelled FIFA to approve funds for a training programme for such a large number of participants with the hope of instilling Integrity in match officials.
“What we all saw in the Anas expose was embarrassing and FIFA had to take steps to approve a budget for this programme. It was a Tsunami for Ghana referees. The public needs to be assured of good officials. Before is before. Now is now to have Integrity for the game”.
Addressing participants, FIFA Instructor, Felix Tangawarima urged referees to boldly adopt the Recognize, Resist and Report approach of FIFA in eradicating match manipulation. Referees were to also refrain from being used as conduits by people to make illegal money.
“My referees, be alert when people come closer to influence you. Resist and report them to FIFA. Never be the one to execute their plans. They may come as friends, family members, someone you respect but that shouldn’t intimidate you. Do you want to become a learning material this way? He quizzed”
An experienced premier referee (name withheld) who spoke to Volta Premier says “the shame associated with the video will not die today but it’s my hope that when we begin to show our fairness, Ghanaians will believe us.
Many referees have seen the situation and we can only hold our Integrity very high to reach the top. We need this course, it has come at the right time and we will deliver”.
The FIFA-GFA course was between January 21-26, 2019. The closing ceremony was attended by Chair of the Adhoc Referees Committee, Mr.Kudjo Fianoo, a member of the Adhoc Technical Committee, Mr. Oti Akenteng and a member of the Normalization Committee, Madam Naa Odofoley Nortey.
Source: Rustum Senorgbe/Volta Premier Fm – Ho