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Hayatou cheated for Cameroon to win

Thu, 7 Feb 2008 Source: GNA

A GNA News Feature by Boakye-Dankwa Boadi

Accra, Feb. 8, GNA - Going through GNA files one came across this piece: "A number of football enthusiasts, who witnessed the semi-final match of the Ghana 2008 MTN African Cup of Nation tournament between Ghana and Cameroon accused Issah Hayatou, Cameroonian President of Confederation of African Sports (CAF), of cheating to enable his country to win the match.


"They accused Hayatou of ensuring that Moroccan Referee Abderahim El-Arjoune, known for his bias refereeing against Ghana, handled the match, which was played at the Ohene Djan Stadium on Thursday.


"Mr John Boadu, who described himself as a serious football enthusiast, said Referee El-Arjoune gave the Cameroonians a leeway by overlooking the many brutish attacks on Ghanaians.


"He said the Referee El-Arjoune should never be allowed to officiate in international matches in order not for him to continue to bring disgrace to African soccer.


"Mrs Janet Ofosuhene, a physical education instructor, who was visibly angry while she was leaving the stadium, accused the CAF Executives of belonging to a conclave that decided, which country should win the African Nations' Cup, and asked why referees were not selected through open balloting but was done in secret."

Soar grapes; one might say and dismiss the views expressed here. But let us take a closer look at the assertions and find out whether there is any substance in them.


Some private radio stations in Accra were alleged to have reported that Hayatou had complained about bad officiating during the Ghana - Cameroon epic encounter. They said he went on to say that El-Arjoune would never again be allowed to handle matches organised by CAF. If this proves to be true then it would have given credence to the observations made by Mr Boadu and Mrs Ofosuhene. They saw something, which many people did not see.


In any case our Elders say: "Se obomokyekyie fri nsuo ase be ka kyere wo se odenkyem a wu a wo nngye no akyini" to wit "if one comes out of an enclosure to disclose what happened while he was inside, one does not have to argue with him or her".


If it is true that Hayatou had made such observation then his action could be compared to that of "Anomaa koko ne ko ne a wo ko atifi ko honu nsuo na wa ba anafo aba bisa"; to wit "the proverbial bird that goes upstream to muddy the stream and comes downstream to complain about the muddy water downstream.


Here are a few questions Hayatou has to answer: Doesn't the Referee Selection Committee of CAF report to him as Chairman? Did he find it necessary to question the Committee about the selection of El-Arjoune to officiate in the match? Was he sure that El-Arjoune is so developed that he could live above reproach and be unbiased following the statement made by Ghana's Coach Claude Le Roy on the failure of the Coordinator in charge of the maintenance to water the Ohene Djan Stadium playing field for which the Coach was fined? Coach Le Roy's statement scathed Moroccans and Muslims and Referee El-Arjoune is a Moroccan and Muslims. Having worked with El-Arjoune the CAF President knows him very well. He must know that El-Arjoune has morbid dislike for Ghana. The track record of this particular Referee brings this out clearly and there is no need to belabour this point.

One may retort: "What did the Ghana Football Association (GFA) officials also do when they were told that El-Arjoune was to officiate? Why did they not officially protest and even refuse to honour the match unless he was changed? Our Elders say; "se wo anksa wo ayie ho a wo yi wo ayi bone" to wit "if a barber is cutting your hair and you do look into the mirror and direct him he would end up giving you a haircut you would not be happy with".


One hopes that the GFA would learn a few unpleasant facts about organisations like CAF that are responsible for organising sporting events.


There are always vested interests and these seek to influence the outcome of such events. Talk of the gamblers and other groups. GFA should also know that players on the filed of play contribute only 45 per cent towards the winning of matches whereas 55 per cent is determined in the boardroom and behind the scene manoeuvres. By putting one and one together one cannot but once again assert that the Black Stars did not lose the match against Cameroon it was their handlers just as this writer had the occasion to observe when the Team suffered a humiliating 5 -0 defeat in Saudi Arabia. Stop crying Sulley Muntari. You did your best. Manuel Agogo wipe off your tears, the future is bright. Kwame Boakye, Lydia Boahen and all the children of Ghana, who went to bed on Thursday without eating your food, do not worry any more. Life is a journey on an uneven terrain; sometimes you get down to the valley and other times you are on top of the hill.

Source: GNA
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