The Ghana Football Association’s match review panel has suspended FIFA Assistant Referee Patrick Papala for one year for denying Accra Hearts of Oak a descent and a legitimate goal in the game against Real Tamale United on Match Day 33 of the 2022-23 season, which was played at the Accra Sports Stadium.
According to the decision of the Ghana Football Association’s match review panel, the decision by Assistant Referee-1 (Patrick Papala) of the said game to deny Hearts’ equalizer from Yaw Amankwah Baafi in the 90th minutes was absolutely wrong on his part because, upon a careful review of the match, the Hearts player WAS NOT IN AN OFFSIDE position and thus the goal should have stood.
The panel overruled Mr. Papala’s defense that the Hearts player was in an offside position after a careful review of the incident, and to serve as a strong deterrent to other match officials, the review panel ruled that “Per the video watched, the panel did not see the scorer of the goal in an offside position.” The tribunal did not see the defender’s intuitive re-action argument, which he, Patrick Papala, alluded to by attempting to employ as a defense.”
It was stated that the Hearts player was not in an offside position when the kick was taken.
“FIFA Assistant Referee-1 Patrick Papala is hereby suspended for one year (ie the 2023-2024 football season) effective from the date of this communication,” they added.
The review panel also issued a strong warning to the day’s primary referee, Foster Bastiours, stating that “Foster Bastiours, as the main referee, failed to take responsibility when he saw that the goal scorer was not in an offside position and allowed his assistant to dictate to him.” He is so cautioned to learn to accept responsibility the next time he is certain that his decision was proper.”
This decision from the match review panel of the Football Association has certainly vindicated Accra Hearts of Oak and even though valuable points from the game have been lost, it is refreshing to know that the legal system has applied the appropriate rules to continue to bring sanity in our game as we all thrive to bring back the love of the game