Lawyer of the defunct Normalisation Committee [of Ghana Football] – Naa Odofoley Nortey has waded into the controversy surrounding the Ghana Football Association and Division League Club, Phar Rangers FC.
The Disciplinary Committee of the Ghana Football Association on Wednesday, June 30 slapped Phar Rangers with a 5-year ban from all its competitions having found the Division One League club guilty of withdrawing from all GFA-sanctioned activities without just cause.
According to the Disciplinary Committee, the action of Phar Rangers is in breach of Article 13 of the GFA’s Division One League regulations and thus the Committee has extended the ban to the shareholders and directors of the football club for a period of five years.
Below is the decision of the Disciplinary Committee as signed by its chairman, Osei Kwadwo Addo, Esq:
1. That the Committee having satisfied itself that the evidence adduced before it supports the charge of misconduct against the club for withdrawing from all competitions without just cause hereby finds the club guilty of the charge.
2. That having found Phar Rangers FC guilty of withdrawing from the 2020/21 Division League, the Committee hereby impose the following punishment on the club and its Shareholders and Directors:
a. that Phar Rangers FC is hereby suspended from all competitions of the Ghana Football Association for a period of Five (5) years effective this 2020/2021 football season in accordance with Article 13(3) of the Division One League Regulations.
b. that accordingly, Phar Rangers FC shall only be allowed to join the Regional Football Association league upon the return after five season at the lowest league of the region.
c. that the Shareholders and Directors of Phar Rangers FC on the records are hereby also banned from all football activities for a period of five (5) years effective from this 2020/2021 football season in accordance with Article 13(3) of the GFA Division One League Regulations.
d. that having suspended Phar Rangers FC from all competitions of the GFA, the Disciplinary Committee hereby furthers orders that the players of the club shall apply and shall be granted free agent status by the Players’ Status Committee of the GFA, free all encumbrances save the conditions attached to the transfers from their previous clubs to Phar Rangers FC.
e. that the Disciplinary Committee further orders that the suspension of Phar Rangers FC shall not relieve the club of its financial obligations which have already accrued towards the GFA or any member of the Association.
3. That the GFA and its Committees are hereby ordered that any match which that Phar Rangers FC is scheduled to play shall be considered forfeited and accordingly three (3) points and three (3) goals shall be awarded in favour of the opposing club.
4. That should any party be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this Decision, the party has within three (3) days of being notified of this Ruling to appeal to the Appeals Committee.
But, sharing her views on the ruling the vociferous lawyer and Partner at Beyuo & Co [Naa Odofoley Nortey] summarized the action of the Disciplinary Committee as a simple joke and that it is wrong to punish a person whose name is absent on a charge sheet.
Below is how Naa Odofoley described the ruling via her social media page:
“Tell me its a bad joke! It can’t be right. Basic principles. You can’t punish a party not named on a charge sheet. 2ndly, art 13(1) states that withdrawal from competitions is a misconduct. Further in that article the punishment is clearly prescribed. Loss of points and a fine of thousand Ghana. A careful reading of the GFA statutes particularly arts 17, 18, 19 and 24 make it clear that its only Congress that can expel suspend or remove a member. Yes I have read the GFA disciplinary code especially art 6 (2). It doesn’t apply here! In any case how do you punish a person not charged in the first instance. Let’s respect ourselves. I am vexed! No further comment on this matter.”
Phar Rangers wrote a letter to the GFA on June 7, 2021 notifying the local football governing body of its decision to withdraw from all GFA related competitions including the Division One League and the MTN FA Cup on the basis that it had gone defunct.
Meanwhile, the club later communicated back to the GFA saying it had rescinded its decision to withdraw from all competitions, but the FA went ahead to charge the club nonetheless, citing breach of Article 13 (1-4) of the Division One League regulations and Article 7 (d) of the MTN FA Cup regulations.