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14.11.2003 Sports News

Making Mockery Of The League?

By Graphic Sports
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The Premier League was somewhat thrown into confusion last Wednesday following the announcement that Goldfields were to lose 16 of their accumulated points for fielding an unqualified player.

The ruling of the Disciplinary Committee of the FA stemmed from a protest lodged by Accra Great Olympics over the fielding of Camerounian import, Valentine Atem, by Goldfields in a premier league match between them. Olympics asserted in their protest that the proper procedure had not been followed by Goldfields in the registration of Atem.

The law, it is said, is no respector of persons, for which reason there should be no selective treatment in the dispensation of justice. In the same way, it is only logical that decisions handed satisfy a broad spectrum of anxiety and can, therefore, stand the test of time.

We are at a loss to understand why the Disciplinary Committee had to wait till the middle of November to make known its ruling on a protest brought before it in August. We find everything wrong with the timing of the release of the ruling. With just three matches to the end of the league, the Disciplinary Committee should be in no doubt about the adverse effect its ruling is bound to have on Goldfields.

As a result of the ruling, Goldfields suddenly find themselves in the relegation net. Against the background that until the handing of the decision Goldfields were on course to entering the Coca-Cola Top Four tournament zone, what has happened to them can be the most distressing experience.

Maybe the FA and for that matter, the Professional League Board, will have to come out and explain why it sat down and allowed an unqualified player to play for a whole season only to be prompted by a club to act.

Again, it will be interesting for the FA to respond to the claim by Goldfields that they started fielding Atem in matches only after the FA itself gave them the greenlight. This was after the Interior Ministry had allegedly cleared the player to play in Ghana.

This latest deduction of points against Goldfields casts serious doubts about the quality of the professional league we are running.

There is the need for us to do away with elementary blunders like what we have witnessed involving Goldfields, if we are to be seen as a nation desirous of pushing the game of football to the highest level.

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