Top Ghanaian referee William Agbovie has accused senior club executives in Ghana of approaching referees with bribes before key league games.

With referees performance consistently under scrutiny, one of Ghana’s Fifa referees says the problem is not with the knights of the whistle but with club officials who consistently attempt to bait match officials with bribes.

“It happens,” he told Peace FM. “Club officials will approach you and ask that you officiate in their favour. When you have the strength to say no, they think you do only because you have taken something from the other party.

“There are even times when the club officials know who is officiating which game before we the referees are aware so you get the phone call when you don’t know you are in charge of the match.”

Agbovie says the trick for the referees is to be polite but firm. “When you get those calls you simply say you will see what you will do but still go there and do your work.”

The admission by one of Ghana’s top active referees comes after GFA chairman Kwasi Nyantekyie remarked that referees should accept bribes from club chairmen if and when they offer them, but must do the right thing on the field of play.

Agbovie’s comments will also strengthen belief in some quarters that with the right will, Ghanaian authorities can deal with the issue of corruption in the game.