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14.04.2005 Football News

Fans call for the immediate removal of Alhassan-Abu from Committee

By GNA

Accra, April 14, GNA - A cross-section of Ghanaian soccer fans are advocating the immediate removal Mr Jones Alhassan-Abu from the recently constituted five-man committee by Congress, the highest decision making body of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), mandated to restructure FA in conformity with FIFA's order.

Mr Justice Nasii Sule Gbadegbe's Commission of Inquiry indicted Alhassan-Abu, a former management member of the GFA in 2000 for perjury and deceit of public officer in connection with the transfer of a refugee player, Clearance Somuah Weah.

According to a government White Paper issued in May 2000 Alhassan-Abu paid a token fee to Weah's third division club in Achimota and got the International Transfer Certificate (ITC) issued in the name of Real Tamale United (RTU) as his last club to enable him to play as a non-amateur in Belgium.

The White Paper said not only was the first agreement entered into between the Belgium club and the domestic club not lodged with the GFA but also the said agreement was also not known to the club.

The development or the training fee was also not received by RTU, even though the GFA's 10 per cent levy was paid.

In the view of the Commission, the money was paid to the "agent", Alhassan-Abu, who became both the club and agent.

In response to public outcry against the unprofessional and exploitative manner in which the transfers of Ghanaians footballer players to overseas clubs was allegedly being conducted, former President Jerry John Rawlings in accordance with the powers conferred on him under article 278 (1) of the 1992 constitution on March 9, 1999, appointed a Commission of Inquiry into the transfers.

Among some of the high-profile officials indicted were Nana Sam Brew-Butler and Joseph Ade Coker, Chairman and Vice respectively of the GFA at the time.

The Committee found that the two told falsehood on behalf of their clubs - Dwarfs and Great Olympics respectively - by concealing from the Commission actual contract sums in certain transfers conducted by them. Brew-Butler was found to have given false testimony in the case of the transfer of Robert Boateng, a former player of Asante Kotoko, and thus committed perjury and deceit of public officer.

The total amount due Kotoko and the player's enticement fee were under declared respectively and paid to the GFA through an agent via Brew-Butler instead of Kotoko.

Part-payment of 81,000 US dollars of the enticement fee was made by the agent leaving a balance of 109,000 US dollars.

Alhassan-Abu and Brew-Butler later appealed but the case has not been heard.

The fans interviewed by the GNA Sports said, once what was contained in the White Paper had not been overturned by a law court, it will be wrong for the indicted persons to hold any public office let alone be associated with football.

appeal case filed by the two to be heard quickly. Congress last Thursday named Kwesi Nyantakyi, Vice Chairman of the GFA Management Board, Jones Alhassan-Abu, Kwame Ntow-Fiako, Fred Crentsil and Randy Abbey to undertake the restructuring exercise to conform to FIFA standards.

But the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) at a press conference on Wednesday called for a broad-based membership to embrace all stakeholders to be chaired by an eminent football administrator with a legal background.

SWAG proposed names including Alhaji M. N. D. Jawula and Brew Butler, both past GFA chairmen, to undertake the job. The fans say Alhassan-Abu and Brew-Butler should be out of football completely until, the determination of their cases else Congress would be endorsing an illegality.

They also expressed shock that Mr Justice Ampiah, President of Congress, and former Supreme Court judge, had presided over this "illegality".

FIFA in a letter ordered the GFA to streamline and simplify its structures with a four-power system - the legislative (congress), executive (executive committee) and judicial (disciplinary and appeals committees), as was the case in FIFA, Confederations and football associations around the world.

The GFA has three months to forward a roadmap that will effect the needed changes to FIFA. 14 April 05

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