Though he is yet to earn a FIFA badge, referee Maxwell Hanson is considered one of the highly respected referees in Ghana,who has proven his capability by successfully and almost impeccably handling the biggest club fixture on the Ghana calendar – Kotoko vs Hearts of Oak.
Hanson, who has had vast experience in handling matches in the domestic elite division, has been refereeing in Ghana since 2003 to date, 17 years of an illustrious career and has loads of experience to share regarding various things he’s encountered in the profession, particularly on the field of play.
In an exclusive interactions with Jeffries Sintim Koree on Television CK, he has alleged that referees are mostly spiritually manipulated, making them to put up terrible performances, awarding non-existing infringements. According to him, sometimes they (the referees) do award certain infringements and when they watch the clip afterwards, they wonder if that decision was really taken by themselves.
The Tema based class one referee disclosed these when the host, Jeffries Sintim Koree enquired whether referees sometimes feel spiritual manipulations that influence their on-the-field decisions, and his response looked interesting.
“For that it’s true”, he confirmed. “Earlier you said that sometimes you are amazed by some penalties and infringements referees do award during matches, no, it’s not bribery, what follows you, sometimes you award certain infringements then when you sit back and watch the clip later, then you say no, this is not from me”, he claimed.
He further revealed what referees usually encounter during inspection of players at the dressing room before the commencement of a match. To him, being a football referee requires spiritual fortification. One has to be spiritually strong in order to withstand the kind of rituals that some clubs sometimes do against referees.
“So as a referee you have to be physically and spiritually strong. It’s scary, serious. Even sometimes before you enter someone’s (a club’s) dressing room, the kind of scent there before you enter, it’s not easy, very much smelly.
Sometimes you see that they’ve sprinkled some kind of water on the floor there with some other things. At times the kind of water you see sprinkled on people, there you realise it’s not a normal water for bathing, you could smell the scent of the water, but, well, everybody has their own faith”, he narrated.
It is the duty of the referee to inspect the pitch on which a game is scheduled to take place before kickoff. In a more shocking revelation, 37-year old referee Maxwell Hanson revealed how they do come across foreign materials on the field which are believed to have been used for some rituals of a kind ahead of a football match. Maxwell Hanson, who was the first referee to handle a league match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko after the infamous Number 12 Documentary by Tiger Eye PI, shared what it takes to handle a match involving these two greatest football clubs in Ghana.
“On the field what you usually see on the field is salt, the rocky one, I don’t know whether they sometimes cook on the pitch, and sometimes lime once a while. Honestly football here in Africa is not easy, especially in Ghana here is not easy, for me what I have witnessed is that of Ghana here and it’s not easy. If you are on the field officiating, if you are not physically, mentally and spiritually strong, my brother back off. If you are given that match (KOTOKO VS HEARTS) say I can’t go. If you have some problems and you are handed that match and you don’t have that faith, stay back because the forces behind is not easy”, he advised.
For the records, referee Maxwell Hanson has officiated two matches between Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak with a win each for the two clubs.
Follow the link below to listen to the full interview of referee Maxwell Hanson on Television CK: