Habiba Atta: Be fair in officiating

Author: George Ernest Asare
Madam Habiba Atta Forson

A member of the Ghana Football Association’s Executive Council (ExCo), Madam Habiba Atta Forson, has implored referees to eschew all forms of biases that have the tendency to undermine the development of women’s football and also defeat the objective of transforming league centres into entertaining grounds for football fans, especially ladies.

Speaking to Graphic Sports Online in Kumasi, Madam Forson said there have been reported incidents of bias officiating at some Women’s Premier League matches which need to be checked, else it could affect the competitiveness of the competition.

She maintained that referees played a critical role in making the league exciting and competitive through fair officiating to attract fans to match centres and ultimately make the competition appealing to corporate bodies to invest in clubs.

“The female league is gradually generating keen interest among football fans but the teams sometimes complain of poor officiating during matches.

“If poor officiating becomes the order of the day at league centres, it will not only affect the competitive spirit among the teams but also make it unattractive to fans and affect general attendance at matches.

"It is, therefore, important that referees exhibit a high sense of professionalism when handling league matches,” she explained.

The only female in the 12-member decision-making body of the FA, Madam Forson said club owners were determined to develop talented female players into future national stars at all levels.

She urged football fans to turn out in their numbers to watch the female league matches which were very competitive and as exciting as the men’s Premier League.

“Watching the female league would not only motivate the young ladies to improve on their standard of play, but would also entice sponsors to support clubs competing in the league,” she said.