New refereeing structure in force: GFA, RAG part ways

Kurt Okraku

The ageless romance between the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the Referees Association of Ghana (RAG) is effectively over.

The sudden bombshell was dropped by the GFA president, Kurt Edwin Simeon Okraku, during an exclusive interview with the Graphic Sports during an official visit to the Graphic Communications Group Limited by the leadership of the FA last Wednesday.

“The truth is that there is nowhere in the world where refereeing is controlled by the referees association of that country. In fact, it doesn’t exist,” the FA boss stated categorically.

According to him the recent appointment of retired FIFA referee, Alex Kotey, as the novel Referees Manager of the FA put paid to the longstanding monopoly enjoyed by RAG in the past.

He revealed that as part of measures to give refereeing, which was a key feature in the Number 12 video, a new lease of life, the newly- appointed Referees Manager is going to launch the ‘GameChanger’s ‘catch them young’ policy aimed at recruiting and training kids to venture into officiating.

Mr Kotey, who now heads the Referees Department of the GFA, will also take over the general  recruitment of referees which used to be the preserve of RAG.

Mr Okraku, however, stressed that the new FA arrangement still had room for some members of RAG to serve in various capacities, while the mother association would revert to its welfare role towards its members.

“The Referees Association of Ghana has their roles to play; they are the welfare body of the referees and they will continue to perform that role. “As it is, if we believe that some of the personnel or persons (members) can act in different capacities at the FA level, why not,” he explained.

The Kurt Okraku administration made history a fortnight ago by appointing Mr Kotey as the first Referees Manager of the GFA in accordance with FIFA Regulations with the view to chart a new course for refereeing in Ghana Football.

Hitherto, issues regarding the recruitment, training and classification of referees, among others, were handled by RAG.

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