A Ghana Premier League(GPL) referee, Selorm Yao, has said that the absence or low numbers of Ghanaian match officials at international competitions, including the Africa Nations Cup (AFCON) must be a matter of concern to referees and the nation as a whole.
He said the ongoing AFCON in Cameroon has only one Ghanaian referee – Daniel Laryea – in attendance; marking an improvement over the previous edition which Ghana had none.
But that in his view, does not take anything away from the Ghanaian match officials as far as competence was concerned.
“I would urge them to remain much focused and continue to exhibit the high standards required to catch the eyes of the selectors to get the call-ups for CAF competitions.
Explaining the mode of selection to such high profile competitions, Mr. Yao told the Times Sports that selection was based on the performance of a referee, the experience acquired in the game as well as one’s interpretation of the rules.
“It is not only Ghana that has only one referee in the AFCON tournament. There are other countries with just one referee and those with no referees at all.
“Ghana had no referee at the previous AFCON. We only saw that as a duty to work harder. We did our very best and this year, we have one referee representing the nation at the showpiece.”
“I will advise my colleagues to keep up with the good work; it is those good works that will open the doors for such opportunities.”
In his view, Ghana has equally good referees like the other countries and that should motivate every member of the Knights of the Whistle to put in their best.
Selorm Yao also commended CAF for the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in all the AFCON 2021 matches.
He said VAR was to correct errors rather than influencing decisions, adding that, the decision of the on-field referee was always superior unless in cases of clear and obvious errors.
“The main reason behind VAR was to reduce the errors in football.Referees are humans and they might commit errors too.”
He said VAR was first used in Africa by Morocco and also implemented from the quarter finals of the previous AFCON hosted by Egypt.
BY EMMANUEL ASANTE