Sports News of Friday, 28 September 2018
The National Sports Authority (NSA) has placed premium on the restoration of destroyed seats at the Baba Yara stadium by football supporters rather than accepting money from the teams involved.
The Director General of the umbrella organization under which the Sports Associations operate, Mr. Majeed Bawa, said Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko could soon be served an ultimatum to fix the seats because the stadium must be refurbished before league football resumes in the country.
Supporters of Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko ripped off 275 seats at the Baba stadium when the two clubs played a friendly on September 2, 2018, a game Asante Kotoko won 2-0 courtesy of goals from Obed Owusu and Emmanuel Gyamfi.
During the match, Hearts of Oak’s Patrick Razak appeared to have been fouled in the 18-yard box of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, but matchday referee Ben Kwame Sefa turned a blind eye to the incident to the dissatisfaction of the supporters at the Asokwa/ scoreboard/ green stands end of the stadium.
They responded with the ripping off of the seats before seven of them were arrested and detained by Police officers on duty at the Kumasi Central Police Station for destroying state property, and arranged before Nkawie Circuit Court in Kumasi. They were granted GHS 50,000 bail each on September 7, 2018.
The total damage cost according to the NSA is GHS 38,500 and the clubs have been tasked to foot the bills before they gain access to the facilities for their matches.
However, the clubs are yet to pay despite agreeing in principle to accept responsibility, and the boss of the institution says he could be forced to issue an ultimatum if they take longer than necessary to replace the broken seats.
“We have not asked any club to pay us money, our interest is to replace the destroyed seats but I have made them to understand that until they replace it we will not allow them to use the facility — not only the Kumasi one but any our facilities across the country that they want to use, we will not allow them to use it,” Mr. Bawa said in an interview with Kwesé Free Sport, Prime Sports.
He added that: “We intend to issue these clubs an ultimatum to fix the seats because the stadium needs to be refurbished and all the seats replaced before the league starts. We don’t intend to replace them for the two teams to pay us, no we won’t do that. We want to hold the people responsible and make sure not only do they replace it, but moving forward, we have to have an agreement and a deposit. A deposit will have to be given to us for safe keep so that in case there’s any damage to any of the state property that they are using, they will forfeit the deposit.”
There have been claims that clubs rent the facilities and the NSA should foot the bills, but Mr. Majeed Bawa says there’s no such arrangement where clubs make payments gaining access to stadia, but there’s a percentage for the NSA from gate proceeds.
“When league matches are played, there is a procedure governing how funds realized are shared and that has been the process over the period but the arrangement for the friendly was different. They made a special request for us not to apply the standing rules. The request was to give us 10 percent of what is realized from the game for the purposes of maintenance. It is wrong perception for people to say that Clubs pay for the facilities.
“I don’t know where people are getting those perceptions from, but I think it is because they don’t know. The rules are that we have a laid down procedure. If it is a league match, there’s a percentage for GFA, NSA, maintenance of the facility. All these things are factored and those things are done after the cost of printing tickets is taken, and VAT also taken.
“So it is not that a certain amount is paid to NSA for the teams to use the facilities,” He stated.
Normalisation Committee and GHALCA met yesterday and unanimously agreed to develop a competition. It is an indicator football could soon be back and Hearts and Kotoko might be forced to fix the seats as soon as possible.