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Feature: AshantiGold v Inter Allies disreputable game… Stakeholders want FA boss firm in fight against match-fixing

Disciples of Ghana football have cautioned the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kurt Okraku, to remain resolute in his determination to inject some integrity into the local game.

This followed the decision of the GFA to officially charge Ashantigold SC and Inter Allies of misconduct for match manipulation in their final day league fixture.

The offices of the Times Sports in the last three days have been inundated with calls from passionate followers of the domestic league, virtually badgering on the FA not to compromise its avid stance in the fight against match-fixing “no matter what, to save the image of our cherished game.”
One of the callers, who identified himself as Opanyin Yaw Amponsah, 56, said he was aware of what happened to clubs in Ghana when they were involved in matches of convenience – and urged the FA to remain focused.

Some of the callers were concerned about the timing of the appointment of astute football administrator Mr Albert Yahaya Commey, to the Deputy Chief Executive and Sporting Director position of Ashantigold, ahead of the upcoming 2021/22 football season.

“We all know Albert Commey was in the Kurt Okraku Campaign Team during the GFA Presidential elections two years ago.

“And, for him to be appointed to such high position only last week when AshantiGold is more or less standing trial, looks very suspicious,” said Wofa Atta, who told the Times Sports that he was a supporter of Okwahu United, a former elite side now playing in the third tier.

Commey’s appointment comes after he resigned from his post as CEO of Techiman-based Eleven Wonders, having steered them to escape the drop last season.

Mr Okraku had said repeatedly that all persons involved in match-fixing scandals would be brought to justice.
The Ashantigold v Allies game has attracted rave reviews in the international media.

The two top flight sides allegedly played a match of convenience when Ashantigold hammered Inter Allies 7-0 at the Obuasi Len Clay Sports Stadium, with Allies defender Hashmin Musa scoring two despicable own goals.

In a statement issued by the GFA, the association’s prosecutor found both clubs guilty of wrongdoing and have asked the duo to submit their statements of defence by Wednesday, September 22 after which the Disciplinary Committee will adjudicate their cases respectively.

“Ashantigold SC and Inter Allies FC have both been charged by the GFA Prosecutor on counts of misconduct for match manipulation in their 2020/21 Ghana Premier League Week 34 match played at the Obuasi Len Clay Stadium on July 17, 2021.

“After investigations into the acts of misconduct, the GFA Prosecutor charged Ashantigold SC on three counts of misconduct for breaching Article 34(5)(a), Article 34(6)(d) of the GFA Premier League Regulations, 2019, Article 18(1) of the GFA Disciplinary Code, 2019,” it read.

“Inter Allies FC have also been charged on two counts of misconduct for breaching Article 34(5)(a) and Article 34(6)(d) of the GFA Premier League Regulations, 2019.
“Both clubs are expected to submit their Statements of Defence to the charges on or before Wednesday, September 22 after which the GFA Disciplinary Committee will adjudicate their cases respectively.

On March 28, 2007, four division one clubs – Nania FC, Okwawu United, Mighty Jets and Great Mariners were involved in matches of convenience in their fight for elite football, registering outrageous scorelines.

As punishment, the GFA demoted the clubs to Ghana’s fourth tier and fined them $20,000 each, while their players were also suspended for the rest of that season and the next campaign.

Credit: John Vigah

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