Accra, Mar 3, GNA - Participating Clubs in this year's Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) Top Four Competition have been made to sign legally binding contract with the organizers to confirm their total commitment to the cause of the competition.
The agreement, according to the organizers have punitive clauses, an indication of the fact that Clubs which withdraw from the competition midway or engage in any act that will bring the game into disrepute will be made to face sanctions.
Mr Joseph Yaw Appiah, Chairman of GHALCA disclosed to the press during the launching of the Fifth Edition of the Competition on Friday. According to the President, the move is to ensure an incident-free tournament.
This is an improvement of the previous competitions, where participating Clubs could walk out of the competition without any legal implications.
The agreement also makes similar provisions for the organizers in case they fail to comply with their part of the contract, according to information gathered by the GNA Sports.
The organizers could however not make public some of the offences and its punitive measures known, claiming it is between them and the Clubs. The Nights of the Whistle, were also not left out of the agreement as they have also signed a performance contract with GHALCA. According to the agreement, referees found to have been incompetent will forfeit their allowances and other benefits entitled them after every match.
Mr Appiah said the agreement with the referees is to ensure fair officiating, and not aimed at putting referees under any form of pressure but to ensure fairness to all.
He noted that in applying terms of the agreement, the human error factor will be taken into due consideration to avoid imposing unnecessary punishment on the referees.
"These measures are to avert the inciden ts which engulfed the competition last year that saw Kumasi Asante Kotoko abandoning a game against Kpando Heart of Lions and pulling out of the competition as a whole following claims of biased officiating.
The incidents seem to be some of the major reasons behind the decision of the organizers to go into such agreements with the stakeholders.
The Competition is scheduled for March 12, with Accra Hearts of Oak hosting Berekum Arsenals at the El Wak Stadium in Accra while King Faisal battle cit rivals Kotoko at the Obuasi Len Clay Stadium.