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Bolga Man City declared losers of Division One match against Techiman City, fined GH₵3000

6 years ago
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The GFA Disciplinary Committee has declared Bolga Man City as losers of their GN Bank Division One League Match day 19 game against Techiman City played in Bolga Man City on June 25.

The Club has also been fined a total of GH₵3000.00 after fielding an unqualified player, Patrick Nyaaba in the said Match after the Disciplinary Committee (the Committee) examined the depositions of the Petitioner and Respondent and the official reports of the match officials in accordance with Article 41.5 of the GFA Statutes and Articles 37(10)(a) to 37(10)(d) of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) General Regulations.

SUMMARY OF THE FACTS

CASE OF TECHIMAN CITY FC Techiman City Football Club (the Petitioner) on June 26, 2015 protested against Bolga Man City Football Club (the Respondent) for fielding an unqualified player by name – Patrick Nyaaba in their Match Day 19 GN Bank Division One League match in contravention of Article 29(1)(a) and 34(1)(e) of the General Regulations of the GFA.

According to the Petitioner, the Respondent’s player Patrick Nyaaba had received cautions in the Match Days 4, 11 and 14 of the GN Bank Division One League competition and the Round of 64 match of the MTN FA Cup competition.

The Petitioner contended further that Patrick Nyaaba had not served his punishment of a one match ban at the time of the match and was therefore was not qualified to play in the said match against Techiman City FC.

The Petitioner, consequently, demanded that by the application of Article 34(1)(e) of the General Regulations of the GFA the match points should be awarded in their favour.

DEFENCE OF BOLGA MAN CITY FC In its Statement of Defence filed on July 8, 2015 (due to delayed service on them), Bolga Man City FC contended that the Protest against them was without merit and ought to be dismissed because of the following reasons:

i. That the player Patrick Nyaaba per the club’s records officially had only one yellow card at the time of the match.

ii. That the last yellow card the player Patrick Nyaaba received was in the Match Day 14 match, five (5) clear weeks before the said match against Techiman City FC and therefore, Patrick Nyaaba could not have been unqualified.

iii. That the player Patrick Nyaaba had already served the punishment if any in Match Day 15 match.

iv. That the GFA had not communicated to the club that any of its players were suspended before the said match.

v. That at the time of playing the said match per the club’s records, Patrick Nyaaba had been showed only one yellow card (caution) and he was qualified.

vi. That Bolga Man City FC did not field an unqualified player in the said match.

REPLY OF TECHIMAN CITY FC

In its Reply filed on July 13, 2015, Techiman City FC indicated that Bolga Man City FC failed to keep proper records and repeated the club’s request to be awarded the three (3) points and three (3) goals for the said match.

FINDINGS AND GROUNDS OF THE DECISION

The Committee finds as follows:

1. That Patrick Nyaaba, in fact, played in the Match Day 19 match of the GN Bank Division One League between Bolga Man City FC and Techiman City FC.

2. That Patrick Nyaaba was NOT showed a yellow card in the Match Day 4 match of the GN Bank Division One League between Bolga Man City FC and Unity FC played on March 8, 2015 as alleged by the Petitioner.

3. That Patrick Nyaaba was showed a yellow card in the Round of 64 match of the MTN FA Cup between Marcus FC and Bolga Man City FC played on March 18, 2015.

4. That Patrick Nyaaba was showed a yellow card in the Match Day 11 match of the GN Bank Division One League match between Bolga Man City and Wa African United played on April 30, 2015.

5. That Patrick Nyaaba was showed a yellow card in the Match Day 14 match of the GN Bank Division One League match between Real Tamale United and Bolga Man City played on May 10, 2015.

6. That Patrick Nyaaba should therefore suffer one match ban suspension subsequently.

7. That Patrick Nyaaba did not serve that punishment on Match Days 15, 16, 17 and 18 matches as well as the Match Day 19 match of the GN Bank Division One League Bolga Man City FC played against Techiman City FC the subject of this protest case.

The relevant regulations on this matter are very clear. Article 29(1)(e) of the General Regulations is in support of the Protest. The said regulation states as follows: Article 29(1)(e)“An unqualified player is a player who has received a caution in three separate official matches of the FA (i.e. the League and the FA Cup Competitions)”.

The Petitioner again rightly stated that the Respondent should suffer forfeiture under Article 34(1)(e) of the General Regulations of the GFA. The said article reads: Article 34(1)(e)“A team commits an offence punishable by forfeiture of a match where it fields an unqualified player(s)”

In the Statement of Defence of Bolga Man City FC, the club argued that the Ghana Football Association did not inform them about the suspension of Patrick Nyaaba before their match against Techiman City FC.

It is the considered position of this Committee that a club cannot be excused for failing to keep proper records. This is because correspondence from the GFA only serves as a confirmation and not as a precondition to a fulfilment of a suspension. Cautions and/or expulsions therefore take immediate effect. Articles 39(9)(a) and 39(9)(b) of the GFA General Regulations answers this concern of Bolga Man City FC. The said Articles read as follows: Article 39(9)(a) ”Records of cautions, expulsions and match suspensions are stored in the central computer system of the GFA. The General Secretary or his representative confirms them in writing to the club concerned”.

Article 39(9)(b) “This communication serves only as confirmation: sanctions (caution, expulsions, automatic suspensions) have an immediate effect on subsequent matches even if the letter of confirmation reaches the club concerned later or not”

Bolga Man City FC also questioned the fact that there were matches played by Patrick Nyaaba between Day 15 and Day 18 without any problems or protest.

It is the considered position of this Committee that in all those matches Patrick Nyaaba played after he had received the third caution without serving the one match ban, he was an unqualified player. Indeed, if any of the opposing clubs had duly protested within the stipulated period for filing a protest on the same regulation, the application would have been successful until Patrick Nyaaba serves the one match ban punishment.

The lack of vigilance and the lack of duly filed protest within the stipulated time on the part of the opposing clubs from Match Day 15 to Match Day 18 cannot prevent Techiman City FC from enforcing the regulations. Indeed, those opposing clubs slept on their rights and are now out of time.

The application of Article 34(1) of the General Regulation is now not automatic unlike the application under Article 39(8) of the General Regulations of the GFA. This finds support in the Article 34(7) of the First Amendment to the GFA General Regulations. It is the responsibility of a club to be vigilant within the stipulated time to request for points and prove its case under Article 34(1) of the General Regulations.

It is very clear that the GFA cannot grant points suo muto under Article 34(1) in light of the conditions stated in the unambiguous provisions of Article 34(7) in this respect.

Article 34(7) reads “for the avoidance of doubt, a team shall forfeit a match under this Article 34(1) in consequence of a protest duly filed within the time limited for filing of protests under these regulations”.

It is our finding and conclusion that player Patrick Nyaaba was unqualified when he was fielded in the match against Techiman City FC and that Bolga Man City FC was therefore caught in the web of Articles 34(1)(e) of the General Regulations. It is therefore our holding that the Protest shall succeed.

DECISION

The Committee therefore makes the following decisions:

1. That for fielding an unqualified player, Patrick Nyaaba in the said match, Bolga Man City FC shall forfeit the match in accordance with Article 34(1)(e) of the General Regulations of the GFA.

2. That having been found to have forfeited the match, Bolga Man City FC shall be considered as having lost the match in accordance with Article 34(2) and accordingly, three (3) points and three (3) goals are hereby awarded in favour of Techiman City FC in accordance with Articles 34(2) and 34(10) of the General Regulations of the GFA.

3. That in addition, being the defaulting club, Bolga Man City FC is hereby fined Two Thousand and Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢2,500.00) payable to the GFA, 50% of which shall be paid to Techiman City FC pursuant to Article 34(5)(a) of the General Regulations of the GFA.

4. That in addition, being the defaulting club being the Home Team, Bolga Man City FC is hereby order to pay an amount of Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢500.00) payable to the GFA, which shall be paid to Techiman City FC as their Transportation Cost as the Away Team pursuant to Article 34(5)(a) of the General Regulations of the GFA.

5. That in addition, being the defaulting club, Bolga Man City FC shall lose three (3) points from the club’s accumulated points from their previous matches pursuant to Article 34(5)(a) of the General Regulations of the GFA.

6. That the amounts of money mentioned in Decisions 3 and 4 above, shall be paid to the GFA within fourteen (14) days upon receipt of this Ruling, failing which Bolga Man City FC shall automatically forfeit all subsequent matches after the said deadline by the Division One League Board or the GFA in accordance with Articles 39(8)(b), 39(8)(d) and 39(8)(f) of the First Amendment to the GFA General Regulations.

7. That should any party be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this Decision, the party has within three (3) days of being notified of this Ruling to appeal to the Appeals Committee of the Ghana Football Association (See Article 37(11) of the General Regulations of the GFA).