The referee at the center of a penalty controversy in a Ghana Premier League game between AshantiGold SC and Accra Hearts of Oak, Gabriel O. Arhin has been punished by the Ghana Football Association.
Referee Arhin and Assistant Referee Peter Dawsa have been suspended for the rest of the 2020/21 football season and the first eight matches of the first round of next season.
The GFA Match Review Panel announced this decision after reviewing the video footage of the Ghana Premier League Week 19 match played at the Len Clay Stadium in Obuasi.
In the said game, Hearts of Oak complained to the panel that:
Goalkeeper of Ashantigold, Kofi Mensah moved from the base line before Victor Aidoo of Hearts of Oak kicked the penalty. The club stated that the penalty should have been retaken once the goalkeeper moved off his line but Referee Gabriel O. Arhin and Assistant Referee Peter Dawsa ignored it in the 17th minute of the 1st half.
Subsequently, the referee and his assistant took a penalty against Hearts of Oak in the 91st minute when the ball touched the body (pelvic) of Fatawu Mohammed before hitting his arm which was in a natural position.
After watching the video, the Panel observed that the goalkeeper blatantly moved off the goal line in between the goal post before the kicker kicked the ball and that Hearts of Oak’s complaint has merit.
It was also observed that the penalty awarded should not have been a penalty because the ball hit the player’s hip before touching the hand, per the law under handball, it is not an offence if the ball touched a player’s hand/arm directly from the players own head or body: including the foot.
In effect, the panel has recommended that Referee Gabriel O. Arhin and Assistant Referee Peter Dawsa be suspended from all football activities for the rest of the 2020/21 football and half of next season’s first round (i.e eight (8) matches of next football season).