By Ameenu Shardow
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Ex Hearts of Oak management member Ashford Tettey Oku has blown the lid on a major legal infraction by the club which could have attracted serious sanctions from the Ghana FA including the loss of points.
The Phobians risked attracting heavy sanctions for fielding more than THREE non-Ghanaian nationals in their Premier League defeat to Heart of Lions on February 22.
Arnold Bosson came on as a 72 nd minute substitute for Selassie Adjei despite the presence of Abdoulaye Soulama, Shawn October and Robin Gnagne.
Article 27(5) of the Ghana FA’s General Regulations reads: “ A Club may register a maximum of 5 non-Ghanaian nationals but not more than 3 can participate in any ONE MATCH”.
Thus, Hearts of Lions may have won 1-0 but what are the other consequential sanctions if they had within the context of Article 37(1) lodged a formal protest?
The club risked sanctions of loss of points or a debit in goals scored for this clear legal infraction had a formal protest been lodged by Heart of Lions before the GFA’s Disciplinary Committee.
Hearts of Oak resting easy now after escaping Ghana FA sanctions
“I kept mute on the matter till the 7 working days (excluding weekends) deadline, i.e. 5pm (of today) March 3 rd 2015, i.e. when legally and technically [Hearts of]Lion’s right to protest against Hearts would have expired for reasons not excluding the following: (i) my stance against “boardroom results”, (ii) maturity of knowing when not to divulge information by virtue of my position as Vice Chairman of the League Board and finally (iii) the age-long wise counsel of the peerless Mr. Ato Ahwoi that “ never allow your heart to destroy what the mind has built.” , ipso facto saving Hearts (or for that matter, any club) from such embarrassment,” Oku said in a statement sent to GHANAsoccernet.com.
“I may not be the Disciplinary Committee but totally aware that any further adverse ruling as in debit of (additional) goals and or deduction of points, would have deepened woes and put a lot more pressure on the Managers of the Club, whether they like it or not.”
Oku also made reference to similar infractions committed which left the club exposed to such legal actions.
“I cite another example (last year) when some good people had to restrain New Edubiase from filing a protest against Hearts for breaching aspects of Article 17 ( use of the wrong strip) in their Match Day 1 encounter at Bekwai,” he said.
“Though New Edubiase won 1-0 they could have pressed further charges for additional goals and other consequential sanctions.
“Eventually, GFA only fined Hearts because New Edubiase did not pursue their right of protest.
“The recent goalkeeper’s jersey gaffe against [Asante] Kotoko in Kumasi – the Referee saved Hearts’ day by allowing the goalkeeper to change over on the pitch – the club could have been charged for using an undeclared Goalkeepers jersey, given that I, as the head of the PLB delegation, pleaded with the Match Commissioner at the pre-match meeting that Hearts, who failed to carry both official and reserve strips, be allowed to contact (on phone) their Camp and subsequently, inform the Referee of the Goalkeeper’s alternative jersey,” Oku went on in his revelation.
Hearts of Oak Managing Director Gerald Ankrah
“They did not and rather brought that green jersey with plastered numbering which created that huge embarrassment on television.
“Is it ignorance or defiance of the rules and regulations and, for how long? Who is in charge of what and supervises what?,” Oku further goes on to quiz.
“What happened to the Intra Pre – Match Due-diligence of the past and, how many big men are interested in that as their predecessors were?
“With equal rights as any Hearts of Oak member, I can only caution that they find answers to these questions.
“Knowledge of what we profess to be our passion and its constant update is the key. It is better and more productive than the pettiness of running down selfless people who served the club with all their hearts at meetings.
“That in itself does not show a thorough appreciation and understanding of how football works.”
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