Cheetah Communications, organisers of the Newsroom competition, has suspended former champions, Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) over their decision to boycott the third-place encounter with African University College of Communications (AUCC) today.
A statement signed by Cheetah Communication's Programmes Manager, Stephen Gyasi Jnr, noted that GIJ's boycott was communicated to their CEO by the coach of the GIJ team, Richard Agyenim-Boateng.
According to Cheetah Communications, the action by GIJ amounted to blatant disregard for the rules of the game, which flies in the face of sportsmanship.
"GIJ is disqualified from participating in both next year's maiden west African Newsroom competition, and the 2020 edition of the newsroom contest (Ghana version)" the organisers noted.
"Cheetah Communications wishes to make it unequivocal, that GIJ will only be readmitted into the Newsroom Contest, after a formal apology with a promise to respect the rules of the game, is received from them", the statement added for good measure.
Event hosts, University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA), on Wednesday, defeated then defending champions, GIJ, in an epic semifinal clash that was ablaze with guts, flair and tension ad infinitum. The defeat ruffled some feathers in the GIJ team, hence their decision to boycott the third-place contest.
AUCC thus placed third in the competition, with Islamic University College (IUC) coming fourth.
Next year's west contest will have Wisconsin International University College, AUCC, IUC and UPSA representing Ghana against four Nigerian universities. Two Nigerian universities, according to the organisers, have already confirmed their participation.