The Referee who was beaten mercilessly by fans of BA United during their Division One League match against Real Tamale United says his testicles were squeezed by the irate fans during his attack.
Maxwell Hanson in his report on the match said some of the irate fans who were holding dog chains used their fists, while others used their legs to kick his ribs and waist during his attack.
“Dissatisfied, the irate fans of the home team followed and continued beating me with blows on my head, some pulling and squeezing my testicles simultaneously” he wrote in his report to the Ghana Football Association.
“Some used their fists, others used their legs to kick my ribs and waist and one was in possession of a dog chain” he added.
He said it was when he was not able to endure the pain any more that he started screaming for his life.
“from there, I could not endure the pain so I started screaming ” mewu oo, mewu oo, mobekume oo”, to wit “I’d die, I’d die, you’d kill me”…” Maxwell Hanson recalled.
The Referee said his assistants had also told him they were severely beaten.
“Recalling their ordeal, Assistant One (1) said he was beaten till he fell and Assistant Two (2) said he was given several slaps and a blow to his head, both attacks were from spectators believed to be fans of the home team”.
Mr Hanson also recalled that he had wanted to call off the match at the time of the incident but was told by the police and military personnel that their safety could not be guaranteed if the match was ended abruptly.
“In our terrible state, the three (3) of us (myself and the two assistants) decided to discontinue the match but the police reiterated that our safety would not be guaranteed should the match be halted. The armed military men also said it would be very difficult for us to leave the field of play if we do not continue the match.” he noted.
He said his decision to tell the captains of both teams that the match will continue the next day was” actually a ploy for us (myself, assistants and the match commissioner) to end the game, hence the match ended abruptly.”
On Sunday July 4, the Division One League match between BA United and RTU had to be called off after fans of the home side invaded the pitch and physically assaulted the referee, Maxwell Hanson.
The match officials were attacked while the game was ongoing, after the referee awarded the Tamale side a penalty for a handball in the 18yard box in the BA United box.
The decision did not go down well with fans of the home side who invaded the pitch and chased the referee in the field, before pouncing on him and gave him the beating of his life.
But for the timely intervention of a combined team of police and military, the officials would have been lynched.
Players of RTU were also thrown with projectiles, injuring at least one.
After the officials were forced by the rampaging fans to resume play, the referee reversed the penalty decision awarded the away side.
He however called off the match after 60mins of play with the match still goalless, for safety reasons.
Police and military had to escort the officials to the police station to protect them from further attacks.
“It was scary”, one fan who was at the Sunyani Coronation Park, the venue of the match told Justice Sports.
“All of us were scared for our lives. It is shameful that in this 21 century, acts of hooliganism still exist in Ghana football” he said.
Videos of it has since gone viral on social media with many football experts and followers condemning the acts.
Police had to fire multiple warning shots to disperse angry youth of Sunyani who attacked the RTU team bus while it was heading out of the Brong Ahafo Regional capital.
The bus which was carrying players, coaches and other officials of the club came under attack while driving through the city with a police escort, with the attackers throwing stones and other projectiles.
The glasses of the right side of its front door were hit and broken, however no injuries were reported.
Why the match was important for RTU
Before the match, The ‘Pride of the North’ were four matches away from securing top flight football next season, a win would have extended their single point lead on the league table.
Real Tamale United was relegated from the Ghana Premier League in the 2012/2013 league season and has since struggled to return to top flight football.
Meanwhile the Disciplinary Committee (DC) of the GFA has ruled in favour of RTU after the two teams filed counter petitions against each other.
The Tamale based side was awarded three points, three goals by the DC, after it ruled that BA United forfeited the match by starting the events that led to the abrupt end of the match.
Story: Mumuni Yirifa Yunus I Justice Sports | Tamale