The GFA Disciplinary Committee has fined Pure Joy FC a total amount of GH¢ 10,000 and banned the club from playing their next eight (8) home matches at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence park in Prampram.
After their Division One League match against Danbort on May 3, Prampram Purejoy Stars FC was charged on a first count for failing to control its supporters when they threw stones, sticks and other objects into the inner perimeter and at the officials in violation of Article 35(1)(a), 35(3)(b), 35(3)(c) and 35(10) of the GFA General Regulations in respect of this match.
On the second count, Prampram Purejoy Stars FC was charged for failing to control its supporters when they rushed into the inner perimeter and verbally and physically assaulted Referee Assistant One resulting in blood oozing from his nose in violation of Article 52, 56, 58 and 59 of the Disciplinary Code and Articles 35(1)(a), 35(2), 35(3)(c) and 35(7)(d) of the GFA General Regulations in respect of this match.
On the third and final count, Prampram Purejoy Stars FC was charged for failing to control its supporters when they threw stones and other objects into inner perimeter and injuring one of the Policemen on duty on his face resulting in blood oozing from his nose in violation of Article 52, 56, 58 and 59 of the Disciplinary Code and Articles 35(1)(a), 35(2), 35(3)(c) and 35(7)(d) of the GFA General Regulations.
Prampram Purejoy FC in its Statement of Defence, signed by the club’s Chairman, Nicholas Nii Addo, pleaded guilty to the charges and prayed the Disciplinary Committee to temper justice with mercy.
PROCEEDINGS AND FINDINGS
The Committee examined the depositions in the Charge Sheet, the Statement of Defence, the reports of the match officials and the official video of the said match.
In its Statement of Defence, Prampram Purejoy Stars FC stated as follows:
‘We condemn in no certain terms the behaviour of the supporters. It was useless and uncalled for on most occasions we educate them on how disastrous it will be against the club if they engage in violence. This is rather unfortunate and there is no justification to that bastardy acts. We are seriously disappointed. We only wish to plead for leniency and we shall take serious measures to ensure these issues do not happen again’
Prampram Purejoy Stars FC has pleaded guilty and the Committee will sanction the club on its own plea.
The Committee however, watched the official video of the match. The Committee noticed regrettably the grave nature of the violence and misconduct exhibited by the supporters of the Prampram Purejoy Stars FC. The behaviour of the home team’s supporters was simply criminal, to say the least.
It was evident from the video sadly that the supporters did not only violently beat up the assistant referee and the policeman but they also inflicted damage to the inner perimeter of the park which is a property of the football family – the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence.
For a supporter of a club to attack police personnel in uniform at a football match is not only the height of misconduct and violence but also to put the Ghana Football Association at risk of jeopardising the very excellent relationship between the Ghana Football Association and the Ghana Police Service built over the years. Thus, this behaviour if not curbed can affect the entire football administration in the country, should the Ghana Police Service as an institution refuse to attend our matches to keep the peace.
The Committee takes a very serious view of the violence against the policeman and the Police institution and will apply an appropriate sanction in that respect.
The Committee also takes judicial notice of the clubs plea for leniency. However, the serious nature of the conduct of the supporters of Prampram Purejoy Stars FC is prohibited by the Regulations and shall accordingly attract the necessary sanctions.
Article 52 of the Disciplinary Code provides as follows:
‘If, in the case of violence, it is not possible to identify the perpetrator(s), the body will sanction the club to which the aggressors belong’.
In this respect, the Committee was also mindful of Article 35(4) which states that:
‘The Association shall hold clubs responsible for the misconduct of their supporters before, during and after a match’.
The Committee is equally worried that the club failed to name the supporters in order for the club to avoid or reduce the punishment in light of Article 35(10) of the General Regulations.
Article 35(10) provides as follows:
‘In case a group of people are involved in violence, and it is not possible to identify the instigator(s), the Disciplinary Committee will sanction the captain and the club to which the aggressors belong. The person sanctioned may be reprieved by naming the guilty person(s) to the Disciplinary Committee’.
The General Regulations under Article 35(9) states that ‘misconduct and violence shall be defined in accordance with Article 39 (7a)’.Article 39(7)(a) of the General Regulations states as follows:
‘Misconduct shall mean threat of death or harm or improper or ungentlemanly behaviour or any act that has the effect of putting the game of football into disrepute’.
Article 39(7)(b) of the General Regulations states as follows:
‘Violence includes assault and battery but shall not include assault without battery which for purpose of these regulations shall constitute misconduct’.
It was clear from the video evidence that the supporters were violent against the Assistant Referee and the policeman and also committed various acts of misconduct at the match in question in violation of Article 66 of the Disciplinary Code of the GFA.
The Disciplinary Committee was satisfied that the conduct of the supporters amounted to misconduct and violence and shall accordingly apply the necessary sanction against Prampram Purejoy Stars FC in this respect.
It is worth restating that there are structures within the Ghana Football Association which deal with complaints against any alleged mishandling of a match by a match official (may send a Complaint to the Match Review Committee established under Article 59(3) of the GFA Statutes) or a misconduct of a match official (may send a Complaint to the GFA Prosecutor appointed under Article 39 of the GFA Statutes Referees or to the Referee Committee under Article 64 which has the duty to recommend the suspension or removal from the referees list referees found to be incompetent or guilty of serious misconduct per Article 64(6) of the GFA Statutes).
The Committee recalls its warning to Prampram Purejoy Stars FC in its previous Decision – In the matter of a charge against Prampram Purejoy Stars FC in respect of the GN Bank Division One League match between Prampram Purejoy Stars FC and King Solomon FC, delivered on May 15, 2015.
On that occasion, this Committee had reason to impose a fine of Two Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢2,000.00) against Prampram Purejoy Stars FC and to warn the club and its supporters to be of good behaviour and that should the club be found guilty of any misconduct charges during this football season, the Committee shall apply the maximum sanctions against the club. The Committee is of the view that its warning was treated with contempt.
The Disciplinary Committee upon considering the plea for leniency by Prampram Purejoy Stars FC and the club’s poor disciplinary record at the same park this football season makes the following decisions:
1. That the Committee having satisfied itself that the evidence adduced before it supports the charge of misconduct against the supporters with respect to count one, the damage caused to the fence of the park and the items thrown onto the field of play, hereby imposes a fine of Two Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢2,000.00) on Prampram Purejoy Stars FC in accordance with Article 39(1)(b) of the GFA General Regulations.
2. That the Committee having satisfied itself that the evidence adduced before it supports the charge of misconduct and violence against the supporters with respect to count two and the injury caused to the Assistant Referee One, hereby imposes a fine of Three Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢3,000.00) on Prampram Purejoy Stars FC in accordance with Article 39(1)(b) of the GFA General Regulations.
3. That the GFA shall pay an amount of One Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc1,000.00) of the fine in Decision 2 above to Assistant Referee One, Aaron Bediako as compensation for his medical bills.
4. That the Committee having satisfied itself that the evidence adduced before it supports the charge of misconduct and violence against the supporters with respect to count 3 and the injury caused to the police personnel in uniform, hereby imposes a fine of Five Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢5,000.00) on Prampram Purejoy Stars FC in accordance with Article 39(1)(b) of the GFA General Regulations.
5. That the GFA shall pay an amount of One Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc1,000.00) of the fine in Decision 4 above to Lance Corporal S.K.Gadzi as compensation for his medical bills.
6. That the fines mentioned in Decision 1, 2 and 4 above, shall be paid to the GFA within fourteen (14) days upon receipt of this Ruling, failing which Prampram Purejoy Stars shall automatically forfeit all subsequent matches after the said deadline in accordance with Article 15(b) of the GFA Disciplinary Code and Article 39(8)(b) of the First Amendment to the GFA General Regulations.
7. That the Committee having considered that this is not the first time Prampram Purejoy Stars FC have failed to control their supporters at their home ground, the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence park (the club did not learn from the previous punishment of fines), the ease with which the supporters scare the fence, the destruction caused by the supporters to the fence of the park and the injuries caused to match officials and peace officer, the Committee hereby ban the club from playing their next eight (8) home matches at the venue.
8. The Division One League Board shall decide where the club shall play its home fixtures for the home matches for which the club is ban. In this respect, the indefinite home ban imposed on the club from playing at home at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence park by the Executive Committee is hereby lifted after the club’s fulfilment of the eight (8) matches home ban.
9. That the Committee hereby also places a ban on the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence park from hosting any Division One League match until the fence is repaired and restored to the standards required by the regulation.
10. 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 (See Article 37(11) of the General Regulations of the GFA).
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