In the last minute of stoppage time, as Sierra Leone pounded the Ivorian goalmouth , the ball definitely crossed the goalline and an Ivorian defender then scopped the ball out with both hands after Kei Kamara’s header , which would have caused one of the biggest upsets in African football. The cheating referee looked at his linesman, expecting a flag either indicating a goal or a penalty but his colleague in crime did not act and the referee looked away. What a shame. Even the Ivorian fans did not rejoice at the final whistle because they knew they had actually been defeated , had it not been for criminal refereeing.
Leone Stars earned the moral victory. Because of the Francophone solidarity between referees and teams that the late Foday Kandeh’ used to talk about, it is difficult for an Anglophone country to win such matches unless they are overwhelmingly superior to the Francophone opponent. I In Africa, matches are fixed by referees in conspiracies against foreign teams. Shame on us in Africa.
FIFA is responsible for the kind of injustice suffered by Leone Stars yesterday , during which they were clearly cheated off victory by those fake referees from Togo .
In the past, teams would walk off the field or stage sit-down protests against bad refereeing . A Committee would look at the incident and if the team was justified, the match was replayed. But today, teams suffer double injustices. They concede offside goals or are cheated of genuine goals and then penalized also if they protest. This is responsible for the prevalent shameful and biased refereeing in soccer today.
Referees are bribed to openly cheat other teams. Some referees especially in Africa even bet money on matches they handle. No wonder the quality of soccer has declined. Soccer has become a money game and referees enrich themselves through bribes to determine results.
We think teams should be allowed to appeal against bad refereeing and results overturned. Referees should not enjoy the power to determine results of matches. It is very unfair and detrimental to good competitions and the morale of teams.
Leone Stars defeated Ivory Coast yesterday in Boauke but the referees decided otherwise. It is not a question of making excuses.
We applaud our boys for their gallant performance . I hope reforms are made in soccer to grant justice to teams that are cheated by mafia referees.