The Regional Staff Officer for the Bono East region, ASP Okai Patrick Kodjoe, has strongly rejected claims that the attack on referee Maxwell Hanson at the Coronation Park in Sunyani was not a security failure.
According to him, despite supporters of BA United assaulting the referee during the match, the situation would have been worse if not for the presence of his officers at the premises.
Fans of Divison One League side, BA United, mercilessly beat up referee Maxwell Hanson after he awarded a first-half penalty for Real Tamale United in their National Division One League game in Sunyani on Sunday.
Referee Hanson was unable to continue the match after the incident, bringing a premature end to the game.
RTU went into the game just one point above Berekum Arsenal and Tano Bofoakwa in Zone II of the Division One League and a win would have guaranteed their return to the top flight for the first time since 2013.
With BA United not in the fight for promotion, Brong Ahafo-based Bofoakwa and Arsenal fans reportedly stormed the Sunyani Coronation Park to throw their support behind BA United knowing victory for BA United would keep their promotional hopes alive.
And after referee Hanson awarded a penalty to RTU, fans breached the inner perimeter fence of the park and chased the referee around the pitch until he was eventually overcome and handed heavy slaps before security came to his rescue.
In an interview on the Morning Starr on Monday, ASP Patrick Kodjoe said he doesn’t consider the attack on the referee as a security failure on their part.
“Per the reports available, there was no prior intelligence of violence…the match officials and those into football can tell whether the place is a flashpoint for violence or not but we had enough security. I will never agree with the fact that there was a security failure.
“There was no security failure because we did our best to make sure that it doesn’t happen. If we hadn’t contained the situation, it would’ve been worse.”
Also reacting to the development, the PRO of the GFA Henry Asante Twum said the FA will probe the matter and punish offenders.
“The laws are clear so when we apply the laws, whoever is found culpable will be brought to book. We have videos, names, and the match officials also made some notes so we’ll liaise with the police in bringing the perpetrators to book”.