It has emerged that the fate of some 17 Ghanaian referees hangs in the balance as Ghana braces itself for the grand premiere of the latest investigative piece dubbed #Number12 by investigative journalists Anas Aremeyaw Anas on corruption in football in the country.
The nation’s capital Accra will be the first point of viewing of the piece on Wednesday 6th June, 2018. Then Kumasi gets its turn later on before Tamale on June, 13th, 2018.
It is unclear exactly what their offences are but it is believed that it relates to match manipulation and corruption in the game from the referees point.
The Daily Graphic reported on Monday that a total of 17 Ghanaian referees and match officials have been contacted by Insight The World Investigates (TWI) – collaborators of ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas to respond to allegations of corruption levelled against them in the yet to be aired #Number12 documentary.
It said TWI has dispatched confidential and password encrypted letters in PDF format signed by TWI Executive Producer, Ron McCullagh to the 17 match officials (names withheld). However, out of the 17, only one – Assistant Referee Kennedy Bentil – has confirmed being captured on tape by Anas.
It emerged that in an interview with ATL FM, Referee Bentil admitted being one of the ‘culprits’ of the Anas #Number12 exposé.
“It is true that Bentil is one of the Anas video culprits,” the assistant referee (linesman) admitted in the interview.
However, he declined to comment on the circumstances that led to him being captured by the sting, maintaining that he has always been very objective in his duties as an assistant referee.
Match fixing and manipulation are considered high offences by the FIFA ethics committee.
If found guilty these officials could face punishments up to a life ban by the Referees Association of Ghana (RAG) and world governing body FIFA.
The much-anticipated documentary, titled “Number 12,” is said to have captured the fixing of several games in the GPL over the course of two seasons.
The instances of match-fixing are said to include the exchange of monies to pre-determine the scores of games as well as crucial incidents in games.
It features collusion among the match fixers and referees, club administrators and GFA officials.
The eagerly anticipated documentary will show at the Accra International Conference Center on June 6-7, 2018. There will be four(4) screenings each day: 3pm, 5pm, 8pm & 10pm.
The video will also be shown at the new GCB Auditorium at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi on June 9 and 10, 2018.
The people of Tamale will have their turn to watch the video at Radach Hotel on June 13, 2018, while those in Takoradi will have the opportunity at Akroma Plaza on June 16, 2018.
It will be recalled that Ghanain referee Joseph Lamptey was banned for life for manipulating a FIFA world cup qualifier beteween South Africa an Senegal. A game which was subsequently replayed based on a directive by the FIFA ethics committee. If this further exposes more corruption and manipulation in the game, it will not augur well for the referees front in Ghana.