Ghana coach slams Africa's top referee after loss to Egypt

Ahram Online , Thursday 26 Jan 2017,
Ghana's Israeli coach Avram Grant holds the ball during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group D football match between Egypt and Ghana in Port-Gentil on January 25, 2017. (AFP)

Ghana coach Avram Grant has criticised Gambian referee Bakary Papa Gassama, who has been named as Africa's top referee of 2016, after the Black Stars lost 1-0 Wednesday against Egypt in the last round of the group stage of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

“My players fought very hard in the second half, but some strange decisions by the referee did not help our cause,” Grant said during the post-match press conference.

Ghana forward Andre Ayew has echoed his coach’s sentiments, saying that the “refereeing should have been better.”

Despite finishing Group D in second place, some critics argue that Ghana are lucky as they will not be playing the quarterfinals on the poor quality pitch at Stade de Port-Gentil.

Ghana will be hosted by DR Congo, the leaders of group C on Oyem Stadium, to bid on playing against the winner of the Senegal-Cameroon game.

Ghana collected six points from two 1-0 victories over eliminated Uganda and Mali, while Egypt led the group with seven points from two wins and a draw against Mali in the opener.

The Pharaohs will host the North African Arab neighbours Morocco in the quarterfinal on the same poor quality pitch that has stirred complaints. The winner will play either Tunisia or Burkina Faso in the semifinals.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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