Berekum Arsenals protest against Techiman City dismissed

The GFA Disciplinary Committee has dismissed Berekum Arsenals’ protest against Techiman City after their GN Bank Division One League match day 15 tie played in Techiman.

After studying the statements submitted by both clubs, the Committee announced its decision on June 8.

PROCEEDINGS
In accordance with Article 41.5 of the GFA Statutes and Articles 37(10)(a) to 37(10)(d) of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) General Regulations, the Disciplinary Committee (the Committee) did not require the presence of the parties but considered all the statements by the parties.

SUMMARY OF THE FACTS
CASE OF BEREKUM ARSENALS FC
Berekum Arsenals FC (the Petitioner) protested against Techiman City FC (the Respondent) for beating them, intimidating them and harassing their players, officials and supporters during their 15th week GN Bank Division One League match played at Techiman Ameyaw Park on Sunday, May 17, 2015 in contravention of Articles 35(1)(a), 35(1)(b), and 35(2) of the General Regulations of the GFA.

Berekum Arsenals FC went on to narrate five (5) pages on complaints about incidents that took place against their club officials, players and supporters at the hands of Techiman City FC from the pre-match technical meeting to the time they finally left Techiman.

The Petitioner consequently pleaded for the appropriate punishments and sanctions be meted out to Techiman City FC in accordance with the provision of Articles 34(1)(b), 15(1)(c) and 15(2)(3) of the GFA General Regulations.

DEFENCE OF TECHIMAN CITY FC
In its Statement of Defence, Techiman City FC contended that the Protest against them was not true and ought to be dismissed. Techiman City FC went on to narrate two (2) pages of why the details as narrated by Berekum Arsenals FC could not be the truth and called on the Disciplinary Committee to dismiss the protest.

DEFENCE OF BEREKUM ARSENALS FC
In its Reply, Berekum Arsenals argued why the facts as contained in their Protest were true and ought not to be dismissed.

FINDINGS AND GROUNDS OF THE DECISION
The relevant regulations on this matter are very clear. Therefore, the first issue that engaged the attention of this Committee was the regulation under which Berekum Arsenals FC, the Petitioner had brought the instant protest against the Techiman City FC before the Committee.

The Petitioner brought its Protest under Articles 35(1)(a), 35(1)(b) and 35(2) of the General Regulations of the Ghana Football Association headed Offences. This relates to misconduct and violence which are Disciplinary Infringements.

Indeed, the old Article 34(13)(a) of the General Regulations headed Burden of Proof provided that “the burden of proof regarding disciplinary infringements rests with the GFA” and the current amended version clarifies the situation even further and better.

The new Article 34(13)(a) of the First Amendment to the GFA General Regulations makes this position even clearer and it provides as follows:

Article 34(13)(a) “The burden of proof regarding protest between clubs rest on the protesting club and in the case of a charge by the Prosecutor, the burden rest with the Prosecution”.

It is the position of the Committee that the burden required to be discharged to prove disciplinary infringements (same as the ones contained in the instant protest of Berekum Arsenals FC) rest with the GFA and the GFA Prosecutor. Thus, it is akin to a criminal case in the ordinary courts where individuals can only make complaints and leave the rest of the process to State Prosecutors to continue with the matter.

Similarly, Berekum Arsenals FC and indeed any club may make a complaint to the GFA, on whose Prosecutor the burden of proof rests. The club should have sent its complaints to the GFA because as a club, Berekum Arsenals Fc is not cloth with the capacity required to discharge the burden imposed by the regulations in relation to disciplinary infringements.

The Committee therefore, holds that the Protest brought before it by Berekum Arsenals FC against Techiman City FC is frivolous in respect of the alleged disciplinary infringements and shall fail.

The Committee will therefore not go into the merit of the disciplinary infringement allegations.

DECISION
The Committee therefore, makes the following decisions:

1. That for bringing disciplinary infringement complaints by way of a Protest for which it is not in a position to discharge the burden of proof, the Protest of Berekum Arsenals FC against Techiman City FC shall not succeed and is hereby dismissed as being frivolous in accordance with Article 37(16) of the General Regulations of the GFA.

2. 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 of the Ghana Football Association (See Article 37(11) of the General Regulations of the GFA).


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