Comment: Match-fixing at its worst


The farcical officiating by Egyptian referee Fahim Omar during Dynamos’ Orange Champions League first round second leg football match against MC Alger of Algeria in Algiers on Sunday cannot go unchallenged.

Omar hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons when he flashed two red cards to Dynamos and almost the whole team with yellow cards.

The Egyptian also gave the home side a dubious penalty late in injury time that was also reportedly elongated to seven minutes instead of one minute.

We believe that the Confederation of African Football (Caf) urgently needs strong and radical reforms starting with the resignation of its dinosaur president Cameroonian Issa Hayatou.

We have always believed Caf represents the aspirations of a certain section of the continent, particularly the North and West.

Most of their decisions tend to favour that side of the continent including the hosting of the African Cup of Nations. The southern and eastern parts of the continent have enjoyed little of the football cake.

Consequently, it is not a surprise that officials incline with clubs from the west and north and in the process making the southern and eastern clubs suffer.

There is something absolutely wrong when a match official flashes eight yellow cards and two red cards on one team in one match. It is pure match-fixing.

The Egyptian referee must be investigated while the tired Hayatou must call time with Caf.

The Cameroonian was recently quoted in the media saying he was tired and it’s time he quit for the good of the beautiful game.

Under Hayatou’s leadership only teams with close proximity to Cairo have won the Champions League while those further away from North Africa suffer.

Democratic Republic of Congo outfit TP Mazembe have combined their cash and talent to wrest the crown away from West and North successfully.

The only other team which won the same competition from the southern region is Orlando Pirates of South Africa in 1995.

Caf must treat all countries equally and give them equal opportunities. Africa stretches from Cape to Cairo.

The issue of appointing referees who are biased towards certain teams because they come from the same region must stop forthwith to allow transparency.

Many a time teams have been abused in West and North Africa, but Caf turns a blind eye on such issues.

It’s either a team is harassed off the field or on the field of play by the same officials who should protect them.

We sincerely believe the outcome of the Dynamos/MC Alger match could have been different if there was good officiating. Such incidents dent the image of our continent.

Hayatou must go and pave way for people who think continentally.