Clashes between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak are not tagged ‘Super Clash’ or ‘Clash of the Titans’ for nothing. They are usually matches that raise the football adrenalin in fans.
Unfortunately, what is meant to be the celebration of the beauty of Ghana football has in recent times been marred by so much needless distractions which turns the attention from what the players of the two sides do on the pitch.
Often, it has been the action or inaction of the knights of the whistle, into whose hands such matches are entrusted, who are accused of ruining what would otherwise have been beautiful games.
Indeed, referees are human and ,therefore, no one expect them to be infallible in the discharge of their duties, but they should be reminded that they also are the only people who have the responsibility of interpreting the laws of the game on the pitch though the teams may not always agree with their decisions. Unfortunately, what the fans may not be able to do directly in protest on the pitch is carried elsewhere,most of them showing their protest by boycotting the Ghana Premier League (GPL) matches.
Much as fans may not entirely understand the updated rules of the game and thus may react, sometimes violently to decisions which do not favour their clubs, it is the responsibility of referees to ensure that the game is not brought into disrepute.
Not to cast memories too far, people have not forgotten the controversy the first leg of their GPL clash this season ended when Referee Samuel Sukah's last minute penalty awarded to Hearts helped them to a 1-0 win. Until the Referee’s Committee came out to clear Referee Sukah of bad judgement, fans of Kotoko in particularly, accused him of having ‘robbed’ them.
On Sunday, Kotoko will host Hearts in their Match Day 23 fixture which was postponed due to Kotoko's involvement in a motor accident.
Emotions have run high among fans since the Premier League Board (PLB) confirmed the date for this outstanding match with, many unhappy Kotoko fans questioning the rationale behind the early rescheduling, given that most of their players were still on the road to full recovery.
Both sides have indicated their readiness for the game and signals from the two camps indicate that another thrilling moment awaits football lovers on Sunday, and so at this point, what the game will need is a good show worthy of the status of the two biggest clubs in Ghana.
The game should be spared any controversy, particularly within the 90 plus additional minutes that the match may last!