The Referees Association of Ghana has passed through so many formative years and problems to reach its present stature and structure. The following are some of its main objectives and purpose:
a. To organise Referees in Ghana both at the National and Regional levels,
b. To develop and safeguard the interest of all referees,
c. To assist in the education and training of referees generally in uniformity with its training programmes,
d. To ensure that Referees maintain good standards, conducts and discipline both on and off the field of play,
e. To promote and maintain close relationships among Referees, the Football Association and kindred bodies
f. To actively assist the GFA in promoting the best interest of the game, as may be deemed necessary for the good of the game and the interest of refereeing.
To help the Association in carrying out the objectives, the RAG has elected National Executives to be in charge of its affairs. However, over the years, these executive members of the association have largely disappointed members of the association. Dictatorship, personal and self-interests appeared to have always led the RAG leaders to be of little use to the referees.
In my 15 years of active refereeing and even after retirement, I have spent many years in RAG leadership. After serving for eight continuous years as Greater Accra Regional Chairman, I also served another eight years as the association’s General Secretary. As a Regional Chairman, our regional executive being in charge of almost half of the national membership had a lot of influence which benefited the whole nation.
Indeed, the problems of the association were generated by the national executives. And these do not appear to have eroded. In the past, dictatorship and self-interest were the order of the day. The Constitution which contained the rights, privileges and duties of members was not made public. And so were the accounts and general financial affairs which were also secret.
The Congress delegates, 30 in all together were made of the Regional Chairman and Secretaries with one loyal other member, usually, the treasurer. And these were the members who really controlled and determined the affairs of the regions including promotions and the placement on the various League lists including FIFA.
They also controlled their regional accounts which were almost always in a mess. The result was that even the cheques that were presented to the national association were unpaid for lack of sufficient funds. These cheques were suppressed till after a new registration period.
Even when the accounts were to be discussed and approved by a so-called national congress of regional delegates, the executive members except the two signatories to the RAG account, the rest of the executives did not have the chance to discuss it. It meant the accounts were operated by the two signatories, since they were never discussed at any national executive or working committee level.
This generated a lot of anguish and division even among the national executives. Indeed, the authority and power of the association resided in the hands of a few, with the rest of the executive members looking on as gaping sycophants. Most of the regional executive members who wielded some power and authority were influenced through promotions to the Division One, Premier League and FIFA lists.
Again, they were left alone to mismanage their regions, especially their accounts which were also not properly presented and scrutinised at Congress. But for the Greater Accra and a few other regional branches, meetings with the National Working Committee and Congress were just rubber stamp sessions.
Those of us who did not agree with the way things were going finally succeeded in getting one National Congress to pass a resolution for the introduction of not more than two terms of office, whereby the Executive members both at national and regional levels would be in office for a four-year term. This worked better and nobody could entrench himself in office for more than eight years.