Referee Gabriel O. 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 decision was announced by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Match Review Panel on Monday after reviewing the video recording of the Ghana Premier League Week 19 match between Ashantigold SC and Hearts of Oak played at the Len Clay Stadium in Obuasi.
After the said match, Hearts officially lodged a complaint over the conduct of the referee and his assistant after what they termed a very poor performance from the referee.
It was the view of Hearts that Ashantigold goalkeeper, Kofi Mensah moved from the base line before Hearts striker Victor Aidoo kicked the penalty saved by the keeper.
According to Hearts, the penalty should have been retaken once the goalkeeper moved off his line but Referee Arhin and Assistant Referee Peter Dawsa ignored it in the 17th minute of the first half.
It was also the case of Hearts that 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 before the kick was effected.
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 which by the law under handball, it should have been an offence.
The Panel therefore 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 the next football season).
The panel also handed suspensions to other match officials including Emmanuel Odoom who officiated the Division One League (DOL) match between Kotoku Royals and Accra Lions as well as Siraj Yahya and Asamoah Eric Osafo.
Ashai Seth Armah, Asante Bismark and Amoo Joseph William who were Assistant Referees and Match Commissioner for the Day 14 match between Skyy FC and Sekondi Hasaacas were all handed suspensions.
Referee Emmanuel Odoom was suspended for the rest of this season's football activities for awarding a bad penalty to Kotoku Royals in the second half of the game after an Accra Lions player had blocked a ball with the chest.
Accra Lions FC claimed that the incident was too glaring for the referee who was about 10 meters from the action to have missed. They also said that the hand of the Accra Lions player was in a natural position and thus the decision by Referee Emmanuel Odoom was unconvincing and doubtful.
Lastly, Lions argued that in the 70th minute, the referee awarded a dubious penalty which also led to a yellow card shown to captain Richmond Tetteh Ankrah (No. 4).
The Match Review Panel, however, observed that there was no hand ball incident in the 69th minute. It found that the ball rather hit the chest of the player as such there was no foul committed, therefore the penalty was wrongfully awarded. This changed the outcome of the match.
Referee Eric Osafo Asamoah was cautioned, and advised to be always vigilant in his matches and keep proper records while the match officials including the Match Commissioner were suspended for four matches.
Referee Siraj Yahya, was suspended for eight matches effective notification date while Assistant Referee 2, Mohammed Alhassan was suspended for the rest of the seasons football activities.