Referees manager for the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Alex Kotey, says it is no surprise that no Ghanaian referee was included in the FIFA pre-selection list for Africa referees to officiate in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The list released last Monday had referees from Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, Ethiopia and DR Congo and for him these countries present some of the best knights of the whistle.
“Ghana at the moment is not playing football and also for the past two seasons our league has gone through some turbulence. The Anas Number 12 exposé has robbed us of any chance of getting a representation at that high level, at least for the next decade.”
Speaking to the Times Sports yesterday, the former referee said getting referees to go that high “does not come easy at all and it would take a very long time to make that mark if Ghanaians do not come together to help buildup our referees to that height.”
“We are our own enemies; we had great prospects before that Anas Number 12 exposé who were steadily climbing to the pinnacle of the trade. Again as a country we go about bastardising what we have, insulting them and passing negative verdicts on them at the least opportunity.
“With this, do you expect FIFA to appoint referees we have destroyed to the World Cup? These are some of the factors derailing the progress of refereeing here in Ghana and the earlier we nip in the bud such attitude, the better it would be for us as a country.”
According to him, the new crop of FIFA referees the nation has are just two years old on the FIFA list and they would need at least seven years with high standards and great attitude to be in a good position to be at the Mundial.
“The number of years on the FIFA list is a very big factor in making it to the Mundial. Referees who have been on the list for seven years plus stand a good chance of being picked for such a big tournament.
“Thus, we have a very long way to go if we are to see a Ghanaian at that stage,” he added.
He made mention of Daniel Laryea as the only Ghanaian referee close to making the mark, but he is only five years on the list.
“For now, as Ghanaians we need to shift our way of handling refereeing situations in the country to one of positive if we wish to see them fly high the flag of Ghana at the World Cup.”