Vice Chairman of the Referees Association of Ghana (RAG), George Saijah has told Herosportsgh.com that the Association’s biggest challenge is funding.
Most of the men and women, who enforce the rules of our favourite sport in Ghana (Football), now do it as a profession.
All Referees across the country have a quota they pay from the district through to national, which is used to take care of their annual programs.
The most influential stakeholders in our sport have mostly been tagged to be taking bribes from teams to affect results of games they officiate from Premier league through to regional division 2.
According to Saijah, what the Ghana Football Association has been giving them as match allowances is inadequate to generate revenue and income.
The former Volta Chair believes, with sponsorship, the Association can organize development programs for the referees, for the public to enjoy their services.
“The biggest challenge is about sponsorship, once we gain sponsorship there will be revenue and income for us to do development. First, you have to develop, you monitor and ensure you evaluate, then everybody will know where you are. If you’re standing at point one, you should be able to climb up to point six, then we say ‘oh there is development’. At the moment there is no sponsorship, apart from the normal referee’s money which the GFA pays after every match in 2 or 3 weeks, there is no form of revenue for referees. And this is the little tax that we take from members and use to organize functions. If we were to be sponsored and there are enough funds, we should be able to train and develop our referees such that we will become satisfied. We groom them very well and they will excel, but at the moment, we are living on that particular meagre thing.”
Not enough Ghanaian referees are seen in CAF organised matches due to their performances, with the top-notch ones being tagged controversial.
It is, however, a fact, that when referees in Ghana get developed, the issues of bribe and its consequences will be curtailed.