GPL: Referee Kennedy Padi banned for awarding Kotoko penalty against Hearts of Oak

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The match review panel of the Ghana Football Association has suspended referee Kennedy Padi for the rest of the season following his decision to award Kumasi Asante Kotoko a penalty against Accra Hearts of Oak in the Super Clash.

In the 14th minutes, a ‘dubious’ penalty was awarded for the home side when Nurudeen Abdul-Aziz of the phobians had challenged Kotoko’s Fabio Gama for a 50/50 ball in the 18 yard box.

Kumasi Asante Kotoko forward, Franck Mbella eventually converted the penalty to secure 1-0 win over their arc rivals at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

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Following this, Accra Hearts of Oak filed a formal complaint against the referee in question after which the FA match Review Panel findings concluded that Mr. Padi had “erred in awarding the penalty.”

According to the GFA’s report, the referee during interrogations insisted that the Accra Hearts Oak player stepped on the foot of the Asante Kotoko player but later admitted that there was no stepping of foot after watching the video.

He then defended that there was a push and pull at a point, but the video clearly showed that was not the case.

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To that end, the GFA concluded that after carefully watching the video, the referee’s defense was in contrast therefore, he [Joseph Kennedy Padi] is “suspended for the rest of the season” which includes all organised matches by the association.

Below is the decision announced by the Match review panel



In the 14 minute of play, Referee Kenny Padi awarded a dubious penalty to Asante Kotoko when Hearts of Oak player, Nurudeen Abdul-Aziz won a 50 ball in their 18-yard box from Fabio Gama (No. 10) of Asante Kotoko.


The referee insisted that the Hearts player stepped on the foot of the Kotoko player which he later agreed that there was no stepping of foot after watching the video. He then defended that there was a push and pull at a point, which the video clearly showed that it was not the case.


Per the video watched in relation to the 14 minutes incident, player number 24 of Hearts of Oak challenged player number 10 of Asante Kotoko fairly.

There was no foul committed which warranted any penalty. The hand on the back of the attacker had no impact on the attacker.

More so the attacker should not have failing backwards if the fall was because of the hand of the defender, obviously it was not a push so falling backward suggest a premeditated attempt to fake a foul.


If there was pushing as claimed by the referee, we did not see any movement of the arm from the back to forward. Meaning no HAND MOVEMENT Neither pulling movement from front to back.

The attacker was already throwing himself down in a completely strange way.

If there was pulling or pushing as claimed by the referee, the attacker should have fallen on the face and not with his back as seen in the video. (FOOTBALL UNDERSTANDING)

The video also showed quite a number of inconsistencies in his decisions during his officiating of the match especially after the penalty incident. The referee lost concentration.


The Panel concluded that, per the video watched, and the referee’s defense is in contrast.

Per the video watched the Panel holds the view that the referee erred in awarding the penalty. This error changed the outcome of the match.

Therefore, the Referee Joseph Kennedy Padi is suspended for the rest of the season. Tghis includes all GFA organised matches.

In other decisions,  Referee Misbaw Mohammed and his assistant Kenneth Tweneboah-Koduah for awarding a penalty for Medeama SC against King Faisal outside the penalty box.

Again, Referee Isaac Osei who officiated the game between Brekum Chelsea and Legon Cities has also been banned for awarding a wrongful penalty for the home side which changed the outcome of the match.


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