Division One Zone I has been hit with a bribery scandal after audios emerged from a game involving Real Tamale United (RTU) and Nkoranza Warriors alleging a conversation between match commissioner and referees.
The content of the audio shows an attempt by the said commissioner to influence the report to be submitted to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) by the referees.
The tape, in possession of Joy Sports, had four people in a conversation. Officials of Nkoranza Warriors say it is the match commissioner, Ibrahim Fuseini, referee, Abdul Karim Abdul Ganiu, Forkor Aliou, and Issah Musah.
In the said tape, Abdul Karim Abdul Ganiu, the matchday referee from Wa could be heard rejecting a gift from a ‘good samaritan’ as described in the audio.
Transcription of excerpts of the conversation below:
Second person “…this one, it will be difficult for us to take it.
First person: errr
Second person: It will difficult for us to take it, honestly.
First person: Errr.
Second person: Yes
First person: This one…that’s why I said this one is not by any team ooo. If it is the team, me I know it more than you.
Second person: probaby that good samaritan who brought it, he bring [brought] it because of what happened. Because his team won the game.
First person: No! no!! no!!!
This conversation ensued after the matchday three fixture involving Nkoranza Warriors and RTU at the Aliu Mahama Stadium in Tamale was met with mayhem.
Per Joy sports’ conversations with both matchday officials appointed by the GFA and team officials, the Nkoranza based team scored in the first half leading to the chagrin of some supporters of RTU.
Referees and players of the away team were denied entry into the dressing room for recess by supporters of the home team.
They claim the supporters were unhappy the away team took the lead and threatened to assault them physically.
An official of RTU said it was only the referees who were denied entry to their dressing room and not the away team and the referees as claimed by Warriors.
He said the police kept them company until the game resumed. He also denied any knowledge of the gift from the ‘good samaritan’.
In the second half of the game, three defenders of Nkoranza Warriors, Emmanuel Osei, Ishmael Nyen and Sadat Zouma were shown red cards.
One of the incidents which saw Nkoranza Warriors player sent off resulted in a penalty which was converted to draw parity in the match. Ghana FA camera operator on duty, Samuel Dzimado was ordered by supporters to stop videotaping the game.
It is alleged he was physically assaulted for not heeding to the order from supporters. Joy Sports attempts to reach him has proved futile.
After 90 minutes whilst the game was even at 1-1, referee Abdul Ganiu added three minutes, but the two teams ended up playing 22 minutes. One of the officials could not explain to Joy Sports why they played nearly half an hour injury time.
However, the RTU official who spoke to Joy Sports said the fourth referee showed his board for additional time when the game had not reached the 90th minute. He denied it was 22 minutes played, saying it was ‘just’ six minutes.
It was within this injury time that RTU had a second penalty and converted to win the game 2-1.
Despite the win, some players were assaulted, leading to Derrick Gyamfi and Atta Oppong being hospitalised.
The match commissioner allegedly tried to induce the referees not to write the accurate report. There are fears the accurate report on incidents could implicate the Tamale-based team.
He advised that all parties should write reports different with same content upon receipt, but the referees rejected the advice and the offer.
Nkoranza Warriors claim one of the referees called to apologise, and that their decisions were taken under ‘duress’ to ensure they all leave the venue safe.