The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association has been briefed on various plans and actions being undertaken by the Association to combat match manipulations and betting in the game.
The GFA has over the years embarked on integrity training for all Professional Football clubs and the Regional Football Associations (RFAs) – resulting in the appointment of Integrity Officers by the clubs and the RFAs. Thus, there can be no excuse if any of them is found violating the FIFA Code of Ethics, the GFA Disciplinary Code and the competitions Regulations on the subject matter.
Again, Referees and Match Commissioners who are currently officiating in the Leagues have been trained on match manipulations and betting each time they undertook their annual training before the start of the football season.
It will be recalled that all Premier League clubs, Division One League clubs, Women’s Premier League clubs and all the Regional Football Associations were trained on the ills of the game, its effects on the game and the sanctions prescribed in the FIFA Code of Ethics as well as the GFA Code of Ethics among other regulations.
The Executive Council was also updated on the various works and investigations embarked upon by the Compliance & Integrity Officer and the GFA Prosecutors on the subject matter.
In addition to the plans, the Executive Council unanimously agreed to reward any individual who volunteers to give match manipulation information to the Association a package of Fifty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc50,000) leading to the combating of match manipulations and betting.
The reward package is in addition to other plans, mechanisms and investigations currently ongoing to protect the sanctity and integrity of the game.
The Executive Council at their meeting noted that match manipulations and betting by people in football requires a multifaceted approach to deal with – hence the cautious, pragmatic, exhaustive and painstaking approach.
While recognizing the fact that match manipulation cases across the world take a lot of time, the Council urged the GFA judicial bodies to dedicate more time and urgency to ensure that such cases are speedily adjudicated.
According to the Council, the move to add the GHc50,000 reward package is geared towards eradicating any form of betting by participants in the game and also to punish individuals, players, or team officials who meddle in betting as it is prohibited by the various competition Regulations, Disciplinary Code and the Code of Ethics.
The Association wishes to remind all participants of the various regulations on the subject matter including Article 46 (1&2) of the GFA Premier League which states as follows:
- No participant of a League match or the League, including but not limited to players, club officials, GFA officials, match officials, ball boys or clubs shall be involved in any form of betting or lottery in relation to the League whatsoever.
- Any participant of the League who violates clause 1 above shall be banned for at least one (1) year and in addition, be liable to a fine of at least Five Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc5,000).
As organizers of the Premier, Division One and Women’s Premier League the Ghana Football Association takes responsibility for the successful organization of the League. The GFA must also ensure that the competition is clean, fair, credible and free from any dent that may cause disaffection for the product.
The GFA has charged the Compliance & Integrity Officer and the GFA Prosecutors to continue their good work so far assiduously to ensure that the game is raided off persons who violate the regulations in this respect.
At the right time, the various works being done in relation to the subject matter will be announced to the football family and all stakeholders to remove any form of doubts and ambiguity from the public.