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10.04.2007 General News

We’Re Not Guilty

By Daily Graphic
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The Disciplinary Committee of the GFA last Wednesday concluded investigations into the suspected Division One Middle League matches of convenience, with Mighty Jets and Great Mariners insisting that the process failed to establish their culpability in the case.

The two clubs, however, pleaded that in the unlikely event of they being found guilty, the effect of any punishment on the players and their careers should be enough reason to tamper justice with mercy.

In their closing remarks, lawyer Agbesi Dzakpasu and James Oyedeji, counsel for Great Mariners and Mighty Jets respectively, said football was the only source of livelihood for most of the players for which reason society needed to protect them.

They both submitted that the sacrifices of financiers had contributed to the development of football in the country and appealed that such benefactors of local football should not be discouraged from performing such responsibilities.

At the hearing itself, Mighty Jets' skipper, Amiru Mohammed, denied Referee Samuel K. Gyasi's claim that he warned the captains of the two teams against playing a non-competitive match on the 70th minute.

Coach Shakiru Daudu of Mighty Jets, who also testified at the sitting, said some of his players were still recuperating from the effects of a stomach upset that followed a meal the team consumed on the eve of the controversial match against Mariners at Cape Coast during the course of the game.

He said some of the four players who could not end the match were still in hospital receiving treatment for the injuries that left the team to end the game with only seven players.

Mr Farouck Seidu, who chaired the committee sitting, however, declined to stretch the hearings by another day despite the appeal by Lawyer Dzakpasu that all the players and officials who had been accused in the case be given a chance to defend themselves before the committee.

Mr Seidu said the ruling on the case could delay beyond tomorrow in view of the intervening Easter holidays.

Story by Michael Quaye