He detested mediocrity since his days at second-cycle institution, the Accra Academy, and it is not surprising that he has climbed to the highest echelon of his chosen field, refereeing. The introductory comments describes the gentle and calm Ghana and FIFA referee, Daniel Laryea. Knowing him as a school mate and having followed his exploits as a sports writer, talking or writing about him is very refreshing.
Laryea was Accra Academy’s number two goalkeeper before claiming the number spot after the graduation of a senior by name Bashiru whose first name has escaped me.
Born on 11th September 1987 in Accra, Ghana, Laryea became a referee in October 2005 at a tender age of 17. He officiated at the lower Division for six years and that is from 2005-2011.
Through the tough times and struggles in the lower divisions, his works paid off which saw him move up in rank. He his maiden appearance in the Ghana Premier League (GPL) in a game between MEDEAMA vs CHELSEA in 2012 and up to date, he has never looked back as a Ghana Premier League referee.
Laryea’s domestic exploits caught the eyes of the World Football governing body, FIFA, who awarded him a badge as an International Referee in January 2014 which he holds to date. His maiden international game (CAF Confederation Cup) was in February 2014. He officiated in the match between Cameroon’s AS Douala vs ASLAD Moundou of Chad. Daniel Laryea went on to become a CAF PROFESSIONAL REFEREE in January 2021 to date and that has seen him become one of the best and most sought after officials on the continent by both CAF and FIFA.
The 33-year old has risen to a level which needs a massive commendation. As Ghana’s torch light when it comes to refereeing, Laryea has either participated or officiated in several tournaments on the continent. He was a member of the officials selected by CAF to handled the U17 Cup of nation held in Gabon in 2017. In 2018, when Ghana hosted and won the WAFU Championship, he was a member of the officials who handled the games at the Cape Coast Stadium. Other tournaments Daniel Laryea has been part of include the CHAN 2018 in Morocco as well as the CHAN 2020 in Cameroon.
The soft spoken Laryea has enriched his curriculum vitae along his career path by attending several courses organized by the CONFEDERATION OF AFRICAN FOOTBALL [CAF]. He went for the CHAN 2020 preparation and Video Assistant Referee [VAR] certificate course in far away Morocco. The AFCON 2019 provided another platform for preparation and VAR course in Egypt. One of the biggest courses he has attended is the VAR intermediate Course 2019 held in South Africa. CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup preparation course in 2018 in Egypt was another platform which he added to his CV. He was roped in for the CHAN 2018 preparations and Elite A course in Morocco as well as the VAR beginners course 2018 also in Egypt.
Laryea was appointed as official for the Video Assistant Referee, [VAR] in the CAF champions league semifinals between Wydad of Morocco vs Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa in 2021. Apart the above mentioned courses, he has attended the CAF Young Talent Course 2015 in Egypt as well as the CAF New Referees Course 2014 in Cameroon.
Speaking to Daniel Laryea, he named some games as the most difficult in his career at both local and international level. In the Ghana Premier League, he talked about the GPL 2015 game between then premier league club, Berekum Arsenal vs AshGold. On the international front, he mentioned the U17 CAN 2017 between Tanzania vs Niger with his best domestic game being the GPL 2016 between Inter Allies vs Hearts of Oak at the Tema Sports Stadium. Laryea names his best continental game as the CAF Champions League battle in 2019 between Zamalek vs NA Hussien Dey
On the local front as well, He has handled several Cup games which include, the 2019 Otumfor Cup Finals between Asante Kotoko vs ASEC Abidjan. The 2019 Ghana Tier 2 League Finals between AshGold vs Nzema Kotoko. He officiated the 2018 President Cup Finals between MEDEAMA Vs Ashgold. It is not surprising that you handled with absolute finesse the match day 31 where Hearts of Oak beat Kotoko 1-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday, June 27. With all these qualities resulting from a difficult rise, there is no doubt that Daniel Laryea will soon get to the FIFA World Cup.
By: Muftawu Adamu