Kumasi, Feb 3, GNA - Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club has expressed dismay and surprise about the story concerning a purported refund of the Charles Taylor money by Accra Hearts of Oak which was carried in the Daily Graphic of Wednesday, February 2, 2005.
Kotoko said the story, which claimed that the Legal Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) had reversed an earlier decision asking Hearts of Oak to refund an amount of 850 million cedis to Kotoko and Taylor was not true and the figment of imagination of the Graphic reporter.
A statement issued in Kumasi on Thursday on the issue and signed by Major Y.A. Larson (rtd), Chief Executive Officer of Kotoko, said he together with Mr Kwame Boafo, Board Secretary of Kotoko and Mr Jerry Asare, Accra representative of the club did not sign any arbitration report on the issue.
Explaining the rational for the meeting of the GFA Legal Committee with Hearts and Kotoko on Monday, January 31, 2005, Major Larson said Hearts filed a suit against Kotoko over the 40 per cent share of Charles Taylor's transfer fee.
The GFA, he said, intervened for settlement out of court which the court consented and asked both parties to report their position to the court at its sitting on Thursday, February 3.
Both parties were invited to the meeting in question by the GFA only in connection with the 40 per cent share of the transfer fee. The Legal Committee came in with the Chairman of the GFA, Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe and the proceedings were on the issue that was before the court.
The GFA Legal Committee, Major Larson said, can therefore not claim to have any mandate to deal with any other issue other than the only issue before it, adding that this was precisely what transpired at the meeting.
He said that the Arbitration Report which was the bone of contention was not signed by Kotoko since the GFA had in an earlier ruling directed Hearts of Oak to refund the 850 million cedis being the transfer and other fines arising out of Taylor's transfer to Kotoko.
The said report, Kotoko's Chief Executive said, cannot claim any validity without the signature of Kotoko as co-signer and that Kotoko deemed it incongruous to accept any decision emanating from the Arbitration Report which was signed by Hearts only.
"Kotoko maintains that the GFA decision on the refund of the 850 million cedis by Hearts to Kotoko is still an outstanding issue and that Kotoko will pursue to its logical conclusion", he added.
The statement said Kotoko will not like to believe that Great Olympics, then represented by Mr Solomon, now Chairman of the GFA Legal Committee, which benefited from the sharing of the 850 million cedis with Hearts of Oak would wish to skew the issue to its advantage with the view to negating the payment of Great Olympic's portion of the money.
"I maintain that the 850 million cedis was not an issue before the GFA Legal Committee", the statement emphasised and said this was confirmed by Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe, the GFA Chairman in a radio interview on Tuesday, February 1, 2005.
The statement therefore directed the Legal team of Kotoko to collect the money from Hearts through the GFA since it was the Association that collected the cheque for payment to Hearts of Oak.
The statement noted that it was becoming the stock in trade of certain journalists to heighten tension between the two clubs for reasons best known to themselves, and said they were doing a big disservice to Ghana football.
It said Kotoko would like to place it on record that it would not accept the presence of Mr Solomon on any proceedings of the GFA Legal Committee involving their Club.