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Techiman City declared winners of Division One match against Wa African United

6 years ago
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The GFA Disciplinary Committee has awarded Techiman City three points and three goals in their GN Bank Division One League Week 22 match against Wa African United played in Damongo.

The match which was played on July 15, 2015 ended abruptly after supporters of Wa African United allegedly invaded the pitch and attacked the match officials in the 65th minute when Techiman City was leading by a goal to nil.

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, the Disciplinary Committee (the Committee) considered the depositions from Techiman City Football Club (Petitioner) and Wa African United Football Club (Respondent) and the match reports of the match officials.

SUMMARY OF THE FACTS

CASE OF TECHIMAN CITY FC Techiman City Football Club (the Petitioner) on July 15, 2015 protested against Wa African United Football Club (the Respondent) for ending their Match Day 19 GN Bank Division One League match abruptly in contravention of Article 34(1)(b) of the General Regulations of the GFA.

According to the Petition signed by Charles Kwadwo Ntim, on the 65th minute of the match when Techiman Man City FC scored a goal against Wa African United FC, the Respondent and its supporters initiated acts which positioned them in such a way as to render the progress of the match impossible. The Petitioner contended that the supporters of the Respondent invaded the field and attacked the match officials leading to the abrupt end of the match.

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

DEFENCE OF WA AFRICAN UNITED FC In its Statement of Defence signed by Kofi Adams and emailed by Aboagye Samuel to the Ghana Football Association at 6:25pm on July 22, 2015, Wa African United FC contended that the Protest against them was without merit and ought to be dismissed because of the following reasons: i. That it was never true that the club’s supporters invaded the field of play. ii. That “the reason is the officiating was very bad”. iii. That there was heavy rainfall which could not allow the teams to play or the match to continue in the 65th minute of play.

Wa African United consequently requested the GFA to order a rematch of the said match.

REPLY OF TECHIMAN CITY FC Techiman City FC did not file any Statement of Reply to the Defence of Wa African United. FINDINGS AND GROUNDS OF THE DECISION The Committee finds that as at 5pm on July 22, 2015 (the deadline for filing the Statement of Defence), Wa African United had not filed any Defence. It is therefore very clear that the Statement of Defence emailed to the GFA and received at the GFA at 6:25pm was filed out of time.

Wa African United agrees that the match ended abruptly but that it was caused by the rain in its Statement of Defence. Consequently, the said Defence having been filed out of time shall play no part in this matter. That notwithstanding the Committee will proceed to adjudicate this Protest on its merit.

There is indeed no doubt that the match ended abruptly. What is in doubt, however, is cause of the abrupt end of the match.

The relevant regulations on this matter are very clear. According to the Petitioner, Wa African United FC should be made to suffer forfeiture under Article 34(1)(b) of the General Regulations of the GFA.

The said article reads: Article 34(1)(b) “A team commits an offence punishable by forfeiture of a match where that team positions itself in such a way as to render the progress of the game impossible or the player(s) or supporter(s) of the team initiates an act responsible for the abrupt end of the match”.

The Committee finds that a goal was scored by Techiman City FC in the 65th minute of the said match. The Committee also finds that after the goal was scored, the supporters of Wa African United invaded the field of play and attacked the match referee and the Assistant Referee One with sticks. The supporters are said to have ordered the match officials to change the decision to that of an offside call. This behaviour of the supporters in not accepting the goal scored against their club went on for about thirty (30) minutes before the rains came down.

It is the position of this Committee that this behaviour of the supporters triggered a number of actions and inaction which lead to the abrupt end of the match. It is the position of this Committee that Wa African United FC cannot be allowed to benefit from the club’s unjustified invasion by hiding behind the rain which started thirty (30) minutes later after the progress of the match was halted. Indeed, in a proper rained off match situation, it is expected that officials would have informed all stakeholders of a replay to be played the next day.

It is the finding of this Committee that it was the act of the supporters of Wa African United FC which lead to the abrupt end of the match. Wa African United FC was therefore caught in the web of Article 34(1)(b) of the General Regulations even though the club sought to blame others too for their contributions to the mishap.

It is the considered position of this Committee that the second part of the regulation (highlighted in red) does not concern itself with the role others play in the problem. It simply punishes the club to which the player or the supporter who initiated the first act belongs to as highlighted in red below.

“A team commits an offence punishable by forfeiture of a match where that team positions itself in such a way as to render the progress of the game impossible or the player(s) or supporter(s) of the team initiates an act responsible for the abrupt end of the match”.

It is therefore our holding that the Protest of Techiman City FC shall succeed.

We will recline the invitation to punish the supporters (the subject matter of a charge by the GFA Prosecutor) and will reserve our comments on this occasion as this is not a misconduct hearing.

DECISION

The Committee therefore makes the following decisions:

1. That for supporters of Wa African United FC initiating an act responsible for causing the abrupt end of the match, Wa African United FC shall forfeit the match in accordance with Article 34(1)(b) of the General Regulations of the GFA

2. That having been found to have forfeited the match, Wa African United 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, Wa African United 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, Wa African United 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, Wa African United 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 Wa African United 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).