Asante Kotoko fans attack referees

Author: Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor
Security personnel provide cover for the match officials

The referees who officiated the matchday three of the ongoing Ghana Premier League on Sunday had a torrid time getting off the pitch after the match between Asante Kotoko and Berekum Chelsea, a match that the visitors won much to the chagrin of the Kotoko supporters.

Not even the heavy police presence could stop the supporters from throwing sachet and bottled water at the referees to register their displeasure for wrongfully booking Amapem Dacosta, a decision that earned him a red card and forced Kotoko to play 10 against 11 from the 80th minute of the game.

This was after an off-the-ball incident involving a player of Berekum Chelsea and Asante Kotoko on the blind side of the referee.

Security personnel were deployed to control rioting fans

The central referee, Charles Bulu, who was not privy to the incident saw the Chelsea player agonising in pain on the field and enquired from the fourth referee, Julian Nii Acquah Nunoo, who was right there at the scene.

Nii Acquah Nunoo, however, pointed out the wrong Kotoko player to the referee. Ampem Dacosta who had already been booked in the first half was, therefore, given the marching orders to the dressing room.

The supporters who were already angry at the referee for some of his calls started throwing things on the pitch and that forced the referee to halt the game for a while.

Sensing danger, the security personnel on duty formed a shield around the match officials in an attempt to walk them to the dressing room after the whistle was blown for the end of the game.

In what could be likened a well-rehearsed strategy, the supporters threw the water in unison, forcing the security men to beat a retreat to reorganise before smuggling the officials off the pitch.