The GFA Disciplinary Committee has fined Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba in respect of the First Capital Plus Premier League match between Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak played at the Baba yara Sports Stadium on February 7, 2015.
Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba was charged for failure to discharge his duties of ensuring that the Regulations of the Ghana Football Association were followed and for the Kumasi Asante Kotoko vrs Hearts of Oak Match day 7 game to kick-off exactly at the stipulated time.
In his Statement of Defence to the Committee, Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba admitted that the said match, which was officially scheduled to kick off at 3:15pm, suffered a delay of about five (5) minutes but asserted that the delay was not caused by any of the match officials.
He stated further that he had explained in his match report that the match did not start on time and that it was delayed for about 5 minutes due to the fact that the reserve strip for the Hearts of Oak goalkeeper as presented for inspection before kick off did not conform to Law 4 of the Laws of the Game as same did not bear a number.
Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba also added that the situation, which first became apparent at the pre-match technical meeting, was captured in his report on the match and urged the Committee to watch the video of both the pre-match technical meeting and the early minutes of the match for confirmation.
In its findings, the Committee found for a fact that Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba did not insist on the application of the provisions under Articles 17(1)(b), 17(1)(c) and 17(1)(d) of the General Regulations of the GFA on Strips at the pre-match technical meeting when the clash of colours between the strip of the goalkeeper of Hearts of Oak and the outfield players of Asante Kotoko became obvious.
He asked Hearts of Oak to present an alternative goalkeeper’s strip to the officials at the match venue; thus, transferring the resolution of the clash of jerseys to the match venue.
The Committee found that the Referee was not firm enough, giving Hearts of Oak the opportunity to disrupt the Match Day Countdown leading to the delay of kick off of the match which was being telecast live to an international audience.
The Committee held the view that the actions and inactions of Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba partly contributed to bringing the game into disrepute and in the process put the GFA in danger of violating its contractual obligations towards its television partner.
The Committee was also satisfied that Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba had breached Articles 23(1)(a) and 35(7)(d) of the General Regulations of the GFA.
The Committee also took notice of the plea for leniency by Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba and his promise to be an advocate for the prompt kick off of matches, as well as the evidence that the Referee officiated the rest of the Category A match professionally without any further infringement of the Regulations of the GFA.
The Committee makes the following decisions:
1. That the Committee has taken judicial notice of the view held by Referees that they can look on while clubs delay kick off of matches and only report the conduct of such clubs to the GFA subsequently, without taking personal responsibility by exercising their match control powers within the Regulations of the GFA to ensure that all matches start on time without fail and takes strong exception to same. 2. That for failing to ensure that the match between Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko kicked off promptly at 3:15 p.m. without fail and for putting the GFA at risk of breaching its contractual obligations towards its television partners, Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba is liable for a fine of Ten Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc10,000) payable within fourteen (14) days, failing which he shall be banned for three (3) months in accordance with Article 39(1), 39(3)(b) and 39(4) of the General Regulations of the GFA.
However, considering the plea of leniency and the fact that this is the first time this issue has been elevated to this level, Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba is hereby pardoned on his plea and shall only suffer a forfeiture of the amount due him as his officiating fee for the match in question.
3. That should Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this Decision he has within three (3) days of being notified of this Decision to appeal to the Appeals Committee. (See Article 37(11) of the General Regulations of the GFA).