Ghana’s referee, Maxwell Owusu, has been suspended from all football and football-related activities.
This decision by the Match Review Panel of the Ghana Football Association comes after the panel received complaints from clubs in the Ghana Premier League.
Among the many complaints received by the panel, Ebusua Dwarfs, counterparts of Accra Hearts of Oak on matchday 25, accused Referee Maxwell Kofi Owusu of awarding a penalty kick to Hearts of Oak (handball) though the ball hit the shoulder of the player and not his hand. The player was subsequently shown with a red card for the wrong decision in the 41st minute.
After a review of the match by the panel, the referee received this punishment of suspension from football and all related activities. According to the findings of the panel, the referee was “found to have erred in awarding a penalty to Hearts of Oak, ignoring the flag of the assistant referee to indicate the movement of the goalkeeper and for sending off player number 20 instead of player number 25 of Elmina Sharks for the offence deemed to have been committed”.
Prior to this decision by the review panel, however, Centre referee Maxwell Owusu Mensah admitted he made mistakes in his decisions when Accra Hearts of Oak hosted Elmina Sharks in the Ghana Premier League.
Showing how remorseful he was, Referee Maxwell Owusu took to Facebook to express: “This was absolutely not a good decision. I’m not proud of it. A lot of people have been hurt. I am hurt too. Lessons learnt in the hardest possible way. As genuinely as this mistake might be, steps must be taken to avoid this in the future. This should never happen again. NEVER AGAIN SHOULD THIS HAPPEN!!!”
Meanwhile, some referees who had complaints levelled against them, have rather been exonerated and commended for their good work.