Former Ghana Premier League referee, Nsiah Boafo has revealed that most Ghanaian referees take bribes to influence matches.
“I have received several bribes that I can’t even recollect. As a referee it becomes very difficult to say no to them, because sometimes if you don’t collect the money the home team would attack you if the results go against them. Some team officials even collect money to pay referees and will pocket the money. However to enable everybody believe they did, they will walk with you (referee) and when the results don’t go in their favour, they tend to incite the fans against you (referees),” he said on Metro FM in Kumasi.
According to the Kumasi based retired referee he and his colleague referees took several bribes to influence the results of matches.
Nsiah Boafo, who is now a reverend minister with the Baptist church, has launched a campaign to confess his unethical acts during his days as a knight of the whistle, so that referees who are currently involved in bribery would learn lessons from that.
“Bribery is part of refereeing. That is why I don’t get closer to refereeing after becoming a reverend minister, because I don’t want people to associate me with it,” he told Metro fm.
“The home teams mostly pay for the accommodation of referees and also feed them, before they pay some money as T and T, hence referees are compelled to take decisions that would go well with the home team. For instance B.A United’s management once called that they knew I was the centre referee in their league match and they wanted to meet me. By the time I realized they were in Kumasi and gave me GHC 300 for transportation and in that game I rather awarded a penalty against them.
“Also I received payment from both King Faisal and Kotoko prior to a mid-week game, but I decided to help Kotoko, however Faisal won 1-0.
“Organisers of competitions can also tell you to influence matches. I recall that the organisers of the Otumfuo challenge Cup in 2010 told me to assist Ashgold beat Hearts because they wanted Kotoko to play Hearts in the third place game. Kotoko had been beaten by Wa All Stars, hence missed out on the final and to make the competition exciting I complied by awarding penalties against Hearts that resulted in Ashgold’s victory over the former in the semifinals.
“I am a reverend minister now, so I am advising my colleague referees to stop such acts to help bring sanity into the game.
Kwame Nsiah Boafo was in the refereeing industry for 16 years, before he retired in 2010.