Four Liberian Referees Make World Cup Qualifiers Debut

(L-R) Referees Joel Doe, George Rogers Hassan Corneh, and Sekou Kanneh, took charge of the Burkina Faso vs Djibouti match on October 11, at Stade de Marrakech in Marrakech, Morocco.  

After 13 years, a team of Liberian referees on Monday officiated a world cup qualifier match in the ongoing Qatar 2022 World Cup African Qualifiers.

Hassan Corneh, the center referee, Sekou Kanneh and Joel Doe as Assistant Referees 1 and 2 respectively, and George Rogers, the fourth official, took charge of the Burkina Faso vs Djibouti match on October 11, at Stade de Marrakech in Marrakech, Morocco.

The match, which was a Group A second-leg clash between the two sides was won 2-0 by the Burkinabes -- a result that placed them atop Group A with 10 points ahead of African champions Algeria, who will face Niger later today. October 11 will be recorded in the quartet’s history after making their World Cup Qualifiers debut. This was the fourth time that the four Liberian referees have officiated an international match together after handling three international matches in three different competitions.

Monday’s game, plus their three previous international assignments, were also their debut in the CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN) Qualifiers, CAF Confederation Cup, and AFCON qualifiers.  

Fortunately for the quartet, they have been given another international assignment to officiate a CAF Confederation Cup match between Binga FC of Mali and ASFA Yennenga of Burkina Faso on October 15 in Bamako, Mali. This will mark their second CAF Confederation Cup match after previously officiating in the competition on December 9, 2019.

According to the Liberia Football Association’s records, the last time a team of Liberian referees officiated a world cup qualifier was on June 7, 2008, when now-retired referee Sam Kortie took charge of a first-leg 2010 world cup qualifier match between Sierra Leone and Nigeria at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Kortie was assisted by Buster Snyder as assistant referee number one, Augustine Gooding as assistant referee number two, and Stanley Konah as the fourth official.

The FA also disclosed that Idrissa Kaba, who served as secretary-general of the Liberia Football Association from April 2010 to December 2011, officiated a 2002 World Cup qualifier when Sierra Leone defeated Sao Tomé & Principe 4-0 in Freetown on 22 April 2000. Kaba was assisted by Buster Snyder as assistant referee number 1, Jacob Geetoe as assistant referee number 2, and Spencer Harris as fourth-official.