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How A Minister Ordered Referee to Let Hearts Beat Kotoko



Retired Ghanaian referee Emmanuel Okoampah has opened up on how an appointee under the Jerry John Rawlings tried to influence matches in favour of Hearts of Oak.

The former CAF and FIFA referee recalled an occasion when one Minister approached him before a President’s Cup game between Hearts and bitter rivals Asante Kotoko.

He shockingly revealed that the said Minister instructed him and his assistants to make sure that Hearts won the game.

According to him, his conscience wouldn’t allow him to do that, so he counter-instructed his colleagues to officiate the game fairly.

Although Okoampah refused to mention the name of the said Minister, he was quick to add that it wasn’t ET Mensah, who served as Sports Minister under Rawlings.

“I handled a game between them (Hearts) and Kotoko and they won. Two weeks after I was assigned to a game between them and Kotoko again. It was an anniversary cup. We were in the dressing room when a minister came. It wasn’t ET Mensah,” the retired referee told Dan Kwaku Yeboah on YouTube.

“He told us that the cup must stay in Accra which means Hearts had to win. We responded in the affirmative but once he left I told the linesmen that our reputation was at stake and that we should handle the game without any bias.”

He added: “I told them to be fair but they were tensed. In the first half, the Hearts players were falling apart looking for a penalty but I ignored them.

“After the first half break, the man (Minister) came into the dressing room protesting that some big men were not happy with our decisions. He was a minister under Rawlings but I won’t mention his name.”

Hearts’ most successful era came in the late 1990s and early 2000s when they won the Ghana Premier League six times consecutively, as well as the CAF Champions League, CAF Confederations Cup and CAF Super Cup.


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