AFRICANS IN AMERICA

African footballers made the headlines this week, with Ghana's boss making accusations of bias against an MLS referee, and DR Congo's Mabiala set to join the MLS in the summer transfer window.

Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah slammed referee Baldomero Toledo for using an indecent word against one of his players and also queried the wisdom of choosing a Mexican-American to whistle a match against Mexico.

Appiah ended up disappointed by several 'biased' decisions from the MLS Football referee which led to Ghana's 1-0 loss to Mexico in a friendly match. The penalty awarded against the Africans was seriously questioned as the striker seemed to have barged into John Boye instead of the Ghana defender, intentionally taking him down.

Ghana had been expected to win, and were the clear favourites on https://sport.netbet.co.uk, but couldn't break Mexico down after the penalty decision. The referee allegedly took several other controversial decisions denying Ghana of several infringements while highlighting tackles by the Black Stars.

“Concerning the referee, I was very very surprised that in a game like this, a Mexican could be permitted to be the center ref when the match is against Mexico," Kwesi Appiah complained in his post-match news conference. "It is still a surprise to me. I was not even aware of it until after the match had ended. I heard that he is a Mexican-American. I mean, it does not make any difference.”

The coach also noted that his attitude on the pitch spoke volumes about him, especially considering the use of indecent words against a player.

Baldomero Toledo, who was born and brought up in Mexico but relocated to the United States as a young man. He is recognized as American by FIFA and has decided matches in MLS Football since 2004 and has been a FIFA referee since 2007.

Meanwhile, in slightly more positive news, Portland Timbers have confirmed their signing of Larrys Mabiala, a DR Congo international. With the opening of the transfer window next month, Mabiala who plays at the centre back position will officially become a Timbers player. This would also depend on the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.

Since back in 2012, Mabiala has plied his trade in Turkey. He was formerly a player for the Karabukspor side before the switch in 2015 to Kayserispor.

The 29 year old has also previously featured for two top flight French clubs, PSG and Nice.

Speaking on the new signing, the general manager and president of Soccer for the Timbers, Gavin Wilkinson noted that the club was pleased with the caliber of player they had acquired.

"We are pleased to acquire a player of Larrys' quality and experience, and we are excited that he has chosen to join the Portland Timbers," Gavin Wilkinson said. "Larrys Mabiala is a player that will bring a strong, physical presence to our team. His experience and leadership will be key and we expect him to make an immediate impact once he is fully transitioned."

Since making his debut back in 2008, Mabiala has won nine caps for the Leopards. He was brought in as a cover after Gbenga Arokoyo tore his Achilles heel in January.

It is hoped that Mabiala’s presence on the field would help in strengthening the Timber's porous defence that has conceded 28 goals just this season.