Football’s pitch brutality

Football’s pitch brutality

Steadily but speedily, a damnable spate of violence is brutally cutting through the nation’s domestic football leagues.

For a few days now, the Ghana Premier League (GPL) and the Division One League (DOL), have witnessed some despicable scenes on the pitch, which do not auger well for the good of the game, at all.

The Football Association (FA), though, has rightly acted swiftly – splashing home bans on the offending clubs – but they could do more by identifying and prosecuting the perpetrators.

So, it came to pass that on Sunday, February 7, supporters of Nsoatreman FC attacked players and officials of RTU after their Zone 1 Division One league tie played at the Twumasi Sports Complex at Nsuatre in the Bono East Region.

The victims sustained various degree of injuries. 

Credible sources say, fans of the home team were apparently dissatisfied with the referee’s performance, deciding to vent their spleen on the poor, defenceless players and officials of the away team – RTU, who drew 1-1.

Upshot of that ugly incident is that, the FA has for now banned the Twumasi Sports Complex indefinitely.

Another Division One League side, Wassaman FC, have had their home base ‘locked’ indefinitely for holding the referee hostage, following the abrupt end of their Zone 2 match against Star Madrid FC, last week at the Ejisu Okese Park in the Western Region.

Again, this week, the PRO of King Faisal – one Awal Mohammed, attempted to physically attack Referee Maxwell Owusu, in the first half of their Premiership encounter against Medeama SC, allegedly accusing him of denying them (Faisal) an ‘obvious’ penalty.  Play was reportedly held up for several minutes as security men tried fiercely to subdue the unyielding ‘Hercules’ in Awal. Faisal won 1-0. 

Whilst the FA must be accorded some honour of salute for their courage to address the incident of violence on our pitches head-on, methinks they can do more.

We are aware that the FA has their video cameramen at all the venues who may have captured these sordidly brutal and embarrassingly unacceptable scenes.

Thus, it would not be out of place if the hoodlums are identified in the various videos, arrested and handed over to the police for prosecution.

If we sit unconcerned and allow these miscreants to go scot-free, they would come back and haunt us again; maybe this time, with a more tempestuous force. 

Indeed, that is the only way we can be seen to be fighting hooliganism and all such despicable behaviours at our various stadia.

If the referee is deemed to have erred on the pitch, you do not take the law into your own hands and deliver instant justice. It does not help the game! It is barbaric!

That is not to suggest that referees should not be disciplined when they churn out a bad performance. No! The FA is already at that lash, cracking the whip with suspensions and bans here and there.

Let our fans help make the game incident-free as we all work in diligence to rebuild Ghana football and duly bring back the love.

 PlainTalk with JOHN VIGAH

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