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15.12.2005 Football News

Asoma Banda Stirs Soccer Controversy

By Michael Quaye
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The Ghana Football Association (GFA) is due for court tomorrow at the instance of business magnate, Alhaji Asoma Banda, who is praying the court to overturn a decision by the GFA Appeals Committee to declare Kintampo United losers in a league match against B.A. United.

In a motion filed last week, Alhaji Banda pleaded with the court to revisit the case which had already travelled through both the Disciplinary and Appeals Committees of the GFA.

In a similar controversial stance, he has rejected his appointment onto the Council of Patrons of Accra Hearts of Oak, insisting that he had never been a supporter of Hearts nor was he consulted before the supposed appointment.

He said he had no interest in football and that his chairing of a function by the supporters group of Hearts last year did not suggest an affiliation with the club or the game.

In a no-holes-barred interview on Accra-based radio station, Happy FM, at which both controversies were stirred, Alhaji Banda said an alleged ¢50 million compensation offered Kintampo United by the GFA to back out of the disputed case, for which the sub-middle league in Zone One had delayed, could not override the importance for justice to prevail.

Although he described himself as a mere philanthropist to the cause of Kintampo United for the mere reason that Kintampo was his birth place and saw his formative years, Alhaji Banda said he would not mind if the case travelled on for 10 years till Kintampo United were handed justice.

B.A. United, who with Kintampo United were caught in a desparate fight for the two slots in the sub-middle league from Zone One B, protested against Kintampo United for fielding an unqualified player in their goalless drawn league game at Sunyani.

The Disciplinary Committee ruled against B.A. United, but Kintampo's joy was short-lived as the Appeals Committee overturned the decision.

To make matters worse, he alleged, the file of Kintampo United at the GFA Secretariat had mysteriously vanished and could not be traced.

“The truth has to prevail,” Alhaji Banda put it simply. Speaking on the same programme, GFA Deputy General Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Gyimah, declined to comment on the whereabouts of the file since the case was already before court.

Ahead of the court proceedings, however, he claimed that through his international connections he had managed to inform world football authority, FIFA, as well as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and would invite their full involvement when necessary.

In the case of CAF, for example, he claimed when Kintampo United lost the case at the Appeals Committee, CAF President Issa Hayatou urged him to exploit the various means of redress to seek justice.

In view of what he perceived as a miscarriage of justice, Alhaji Banda said the current GFA could not be trusted to run a transparent administration.

On Hearts, he said his association with them was no different from what he had done at many functions, including chairing church programmes.

Asked if he would support them with his fleet of aircrafts when they approach him, he said he would do so when they pay for it since he doesn't run a charity organisation.

Division One League Board Chairman, Mr Douglas Djarbeng confirmed the injunction on the Zone One sub-middle league and explained that matches in the zone which were previously scheduled to be played yesterday had to be postponed.