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10.02.2006 Football News

Stand up and be counted Disciplinary Committee!

By GNA

(A GNA Feature by Veronica Commey)

Accra, Feb 10, GNA - "Let the cowards disperse and the bold stand up to be counted for the battle is not for the weak nor the faint in heart" - VC.

I read the findings of the Disciplinary Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) on the match-fixing allegation levelled against Hearts of Oak and Heart of Lions by Kumasi Asante Kotoko with great dismay.

It is as though I read it every minute, because my heart wrecks for the passion of the nation. To say I was let down by the findings, is stating the obvious.

One could easily feel tempted to conclude that some people might remain untouchable forever whilst the fact remains that "the first class citizens" and the rest still exist.

Its hard to comprehend what must have informed the Committee's decision to exonerate the accused with the excuse of its inability to find the persons behind the said recordings Kotoko presented and yet failed to reprimand the bearer(s) who refused to produce the witness who prior to the hearing made all to believe he/she was ready to stand by the tape.

Excuses such as Kotoko's failure to identify the faces behind the recordings and produce the "witness because he/she feared for his/her life" is the lousiest ever heard.

The Committee's unbelievable boldness to suggest it was irrelevant to hunt for the supposed witness who claimed to have recorded the meeting between Hearts' Thomas Okine and Lions' Victor Ahiakpor at all cost, if indeed they plan to rid soccer of corruption, as often purported generates more questions than answers. For the Committee to have relied only on officials of Kotoko to produce the faces behind those voices or otherwise is the biggest joke of the century!

Where was the mechanism desired to follow the issue with a forensic eye as promised?

How could the Committee fall for a lame excuse like the "witness feared for his/her life' hence the refusal to testify, leaving the informant and the supposed witness off the hook? For wasting the time of the Committee alone, the informant should have been punished without relegating his refusal and to relegate the witness to the background!

The findings lack the substance - which explains how the Committee could have convinced itself that wrong informants are left unpunished when it is evident they have lots to hide.

Those Kotoko officials who out of cowardice turned around to claim they did not tag the duo as the faces behind the voices though an earlier circular from their outfit to the media suggested so, obviously didn't make those allegations in a vacuum.

And to have wasted everybody's time by staying economical with the truth when it mattered most must not escape the people's wrath in the name of those pale excuses.

Was it not the same inconsistency that cost Real Tamale United's Nurudeen Wemah?, that ensured the player received a half season ban because the same Committee concluded he lied by claiming he was under duress to make those serious match-fixing allegations against the Premiership Lords?

Was the poor boy sacrificed because he does not belong to the self-styled bigger clubs?

The Committee's verdict has unnecessarily deepened the mistrust surrounding its ability to prosecute the bigger clubs without fear or favour.

Their actions visibly depict the assumption that it lacks the balls to punish the "big boys" when the need be and only bully the weak as though to suggest that they have the teeth to bite when provoked. The clarion cry must no longer centre on an improved game, but also underscore the relevance in strengthening administrational structures, ridding off of the cowards and admitting the courageous for the good of the game.

Charity, they say begins at home and the Committee's conclusion must undisputedly present the Kwasi Nyantakyie's Federation loads to worry about with the season in sight as we pray for proper planning and development of the passion of the nation in a non-partisan and positive way. GNA

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