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15.06.2005 Football News

Unity Cup Organisers Blame GFA


The organisers of the postponed Unity Cup tournament in London claim that undue delay by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) largely accounted for the fiasco and not because they defaulted in payment of appearance fees for the Ghanaian team.

Last week Ghana pulled out of the four-nation tournament because the organisers provided a “dud cheque” and also failed to provide agreed return air tickets for their flight to London in addition to a failure to guarantee the team a decent hotel for the tournament.

Officials of Optima Sports Management International, organisers of the annual Unity Cup, were appalled at the GFA's explanation for the fiasco. They jetted into the country at the weekend to seek audience with the GFA and clarify the situation, the facts of which they claim have been misrepresented and distorted by the GFA.

Mr Alex Dokun, a FIFA-licensed match Agent and a director of Optima Sports, was enraged at the GFA's accusations that they issued a dud cheque and challenged the GFA to become clean on the issue.

He denied ever issuing a dud cheque and explained that the GFA insisted on receiving cash to prepare the team rather than wait for a two-week maturity period of the cheque.

And while Optima Sports had dispatched officials to meet the GFA new demands, it was reported that Ghana had withdrawn from the tourney at a time the three other invited teams, Nigeria, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, had arrived in London for the tournament.

Mr Dokun said that a delay by the GFA to sign their part of the contract and also forward to the organisers the team list, culminated in the tournament's postponement because of their inability to secure insurance cover from the Newham Police in London.

“The problems fall at the doorstep of the GFA because on May 28, I presented a cheque of $50,000 to acting GFA Chairman, Mr Kwasi Nyantakyi, in the presence of the Deputy Sports Minister here at Novotel, and it would have matured after two weeks but the FA said they could not wait.

The facts can be ascertained from the GFA's bankers, CAL Bank, in Accra,” said Mr Dokun in the presence of Optima Sports' local agent, Mr Hornsby-Odoi.

He also claimed that 28 British Airways return air tickets were ready to be issued by Connect Travels Limited, a private travel agency located at Dzorwulu in Accra.

Meanwhile, the tournament has been rescheduled for September in the hope that all the problems encountered would be sorted out for Ghana and the other participating nations to compete in the tourney at London's Upton Park, Home of English Premiership side West Ham United.