Retired referee Nsor Stephen lifts lid on how he was forced to manipulate Hearts, Dreams FC matches

Published on: 27 April 2022

Retired Ghana Premier League referee Nsor Stephen has disclosed how he was forced to manipulate Hearts of Oak, Dreams FC matches.

Stephen claims manipulation by some top Ghana Football Association (GFA) officials led to his retirement from the profession.

He was appointed to officiate an MTN FA Cup tie between Hearts of Oak and Elmina Sharks in 2017. Before the game, some unnamed GFA members allegedly ordered him to ensure that the Phobians win the game so they could face Asante Kotoko in the next round.

"I went for Hearts and Elmina Sharks game some years back. It was an FA Cup game around somewhere in 2017. Before the game, some Gurus at the FA influenced the match(some are still there).

"They forced us to let Hearts of Oak win so that they can meet Kotoko. I'm telling you. Just to let Hearts of Oak win. It was played in Accra."

"The park was good, the weather too was very conducive for football. The Sharks taught they were going to beat Hearts of Oak, checking at the jama and their moral level.

"We taught we were going to officiate the game fairly but the thing changed. I'm telling you. We handled it according to what they said. You know that the game is not fair. Football is not fair in Ghana," he said in an interview with Sunyani-based Nimdee FM.

He added, "I stopped officiating because of that. Officiating is not like playing football. Being a good player some big clubs can come for you but in officiating is not like who is performing but whom you know, your links and your connections will send you far…"

Hearts of Oak won the match 2-0 in the semi-final of the FA Cup on Sunday June 25, 2017 but lost 3-1 to Asante Kotoko in the finals.