The Spokesman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Randy Abbey has stated in no unambiguous terms that the football federation cannot respond to agitations by supporters of Kumasi Asante Kotoko in respect of refund of the ¢850 million concerning the transfer of Charles Taylor from Hearts of Oak to Asante Kotoko in 2003.
Abbey made the FA's position on the supporters' agitation known in an interview with myghanafootball.com.
“All what we are hearing are radio talk. The FA can't respond to any radio talk by supporters of a club.
“Kotoko is a member of the FA so if Kotoko as a club takes steps to get refund of the money, the FA will respond to them. As for supporters we can't respond to them”, he added.
When his attention was drawn to the fact that Kotoko supporters claim they raised the money to pay the fine to enable the player feature for their club, Abbey said, “that's an internal Kotoko matter. The FA does not concern itself with how clubs raise their money”, he pointed out.
Abbey explained that as stakeholders of Kotoko, the supporters can agitate for the refund of the money, but until the club officially writes to the FA on the matter, the concerns by the supporters will remain agitation.
He added he was not aware of two letters having been written to the FA by the Board Secretary, Kwame Boafo and the former Chief Executive Officer of the club, Jarvis Peprah on May 17, 2006 and June 16, 2006 respectively. He however promised to check the authenticity of that claim.
In early 2003, the then IMC of Kotoko made overtures towards wooing then Hearts of Oak's ace player, Charles Taylor into their fold. But the approach by Kotoko was deemed improper, and after a committee was appointed to investigate circumstances surrounding the player's status with Hearts of Oak and other issues germane to his joining Kotoko, Taylor was banned for four months and a fine of ¢650 Million placed on his head, while Asante Kotoko was fined ¢200 Million.
However, further investigations in to the matter showed Taylor did not have a contract with Hearts of Oak, based on which Hearts of Oak were asked to refund the money to Kotoko – a directive, which Hearts officials swore never to comply with. And indeed, three years after, Hearts officials have not complied with the directive. And following communication they have had with officials of Etoile Sportive du Sahel, the Tunisian club Asante Kotoko subsequently transferred Taylor to, the player is back in the fold of Hearts, and yesterday acquitted himself so brilliantly and enthrallingly in a friendly match, scoring one of the goals, which reportedly tore the net.
Apparently finding Taylor's return to Hearts very difficult to stomach and growing indignant by the day at the FA's behaviour, Kotoko supporters have launched fresh moves aimed at getting the ¢850 Million back.
At the forefront of the agitation for the money is Alhaji Ali Maradona, who explains that the renewed campaign to ask for refund of the money is not driven by the player's return to Hearts, but rather the FA's lack of courage and will to ensure they get the money back.
According to Maradona, Kotoko have in recently written letters to the FA on the matter, but have attracted no response, either positive or negative from the FA. This is what Maradona says, has compelled the supporters to charge on the FA for the money to inject it into some infrastructural development projects the club has embarked upon.
To further press home their demand for the money, Maradona said the supporters have approached a Kumasi-based lawyer, Kwesi Afrifa and even intend to get in touch with an Accra-based legal practitioner, Larry Otoo to peruse the documents on the transfer after which they will plunge into action.