'Football is my life' - Assistant Referee speaks


'Football is my life' - Assistant Referee speaks

Assistant referee George Osiabuo who officiated a football match between two community teams has questioned why some people would laugh at him because of his dirty officiating attire. George is a public school teacher besides football and he was introduced to football by his best friend who is now in Luxembourg. George was officiating a football match with his colleagues when a sudden rain started falling on the 2 of May 2021. The main central referee did not end the match when the rains drops started falling, despite calls from matchboard officials to end the game. They believed ending the game will destroy the spirit and beauty of the game which would favour one team.

The central referee continued the officiating when George who was the first linesman, gave heed to the order for the match to be continued. George was running to the other goal post to make sure he saw the game from his end, in case a penalty should occur, when he tripped and fell on the mudded football pitch. He quickly woke up and went back to his duties, but the cameras had already captured him. He didn't step down from his post and kept limping on one foot to officiate the game as the first linesman.

The accident he had on the pitch, had affected him directly when his right leg was locked but he didn't stop officiating the game until the full ninety minutes was over. George who agreed to a phone interview made me aware that, it was for the love of the game that had kept him on the pitch on that day despite his accident. I love football and I have been a lover of it since my youthful days, and I don't care if it will take my life, was the exact words of George when he was asked why he didn't think about his health and leave the match after the accident.

George doesn't earn anything from football, but he keeps officiating it voluntarily because of the excitement the game brings to him. He is a subject teacher and class 6 teacher at the Ofoase LA basic school in Office. He works as a teacher in full capacity and only joins the football duties after he closes from work. He is a devoted man who even uses part of his salary to help players in times of need and health situations.

ThinkingMinds operanews-external@opera.com