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24.04.2007 League Report

Stolen Documents Hearing - Gang Threat At GFA

Stolen Documents Hearing - Gang Threat At GFA

Catholic Stars of Bolgatanga will step up their claim for three points against Wa All Stars today amidst fears that the "Saga of Stolen Documents" could degenerate into violence if adequate security is not provided at the GFA premises.

As keen observers of the unfolding saga brace up for an intense legal slugfest between Catholic Stars' Kofi Manu and All Stars' Jones Alhassan Abu, officials of Catholic Stars have alleged that at last Thursday's second hearing of the case, in which the Bolgatanga club has accused the Wa club of fielding five unqualified players, representatives of the Bolga club were openly threatened by dozens of hooligans and hired thugs.

An official of All Stars, however, denied the hiring of thugs story and said those who turned up at the hearing were genuine football fans who were attracted by the interest the case had generated.

Disciplinary Committee chairman Lawyer Tanko, has opened the doors for a public hearing to demonstrate transparency in this otherwise normal Division One protest case but which has been rendered sensational by allegations of stolen documents.

Curiously, one of three suspects reported to the police by Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, FA President and owner of Wa All Stars, to be investigated for stealing, is Mr Kofi Manu, who has turned out to do battle for Catholic Stars.

In a petition to the GFA, in which Catholic Stars documented the threat to their lives, the club's Accra representative, Tahiru Abdulai, said the real targets of the thugs were himself and Mr Kofi Manu.

Earlier Manu had presented the case for the Bolga club against Baba Gullit, one of the five players accused of unqualified status.

Baba Gullit is a member of the national Satellites squad who was declared floating by the Player Status Committee on May 26, 2005 because "Great Africans, your former club failed to appear before the committee on two consecutive occasions indicating their lack of interest in the case."

At Thursday's hearing, Mr Manu led Catholic Stars to serve notice that they would contest the basis on which Baba Gullit was registered for All Stars.

Though his documents are believed to be among those allegedly stolen from the GFA Secretariat, sources said Gullit was transferred to All Stars by a Kumasi colts club and not as a floating player.

Jones Abu Alhassan, member of the GFA Executive Committee and current chairman of the Status Committee put up a spirited defense for All Stars and dismissed the argument that an Alhaji who is said to be the manager and financier of Baba Gullit was the one who should have authorized his move to any club.

The heat now turns on James Asimeni, the second of the five accused, who has at different times, featured for Liberty Professionals and King Faisal, before emerging for All Stars in the decisive game against Catholic Stars, which the former won by three goals.

The match was played last March 28 and Catholic Stars lodged the protest within the stipulated 48 hours, but days later, the GFA reported that its offices had been broken into and documents of the players protested against stolen.

FA President Nyantakyi reported the theft to the police and handed over three suspects who were slapped with various charges including "unlawful entry and stealing."

It is not known yet how the absence of those documents would affect the outcome of the current disciplinary committee hearing.

But in previous cases when Numo United protested against the Wa club (which is also at the centre of the current case) and Kintampo United also protested against BA United, missing documents led to the dismissal of both cases.