Hearts referee fined by DC

Accra Hearts of OakThe Disciplinary Committee (DC) of the GFA has fined Hearts of Oak GHc4,750 in respect of their First Capital Plus Premier League match against Asante Kotoko at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Feb 7, 2015.

Accra Hearts of Oak was charged with two (2) counts as per the Charge Sheet dated Thursday, February 12, 2015.

On the first count, the club was charged for its alleged breach of Articles 17(1)(c), 17(1)(d), 17(2) and 17(5) of the GFA General Regulations for its failure to promptly change and use an alternative strip as directed by the match officials pursuant to the GFA Regulations.

On the second count, the club was charged for its alleged breach of Articles 17(3), 23(1) of the GFA General Regulations for delaying the scheduled kick-off of the match due to its reluctance to change its goalkeeper’s strip, the colour of which clashed with that of the home team’s strip as directed by the match officials pursuant to the GFA Regulations.

In its Statement of Defence, the Club pleaded not guilty to the two charges and requested a personal hearing to defend the charges against the club.

But at the hearing, Accra Hearts of Oak changed its plea to guilty with explanation on both counts and also pleaded for leniency.

On count one, Accra Hearts of Oak explained that even though the club did not have the alternative goalkeeper’s strip readily available at the pre-match technical meeting, it could have been resolved if the referee for the match had considered the club’s suggestion to allow use of the warm-up vest in combination with the goalkeeper’s strip to avert the clash of strips.

The Committee found for a fact that Hearts of Oak did not have an alternative strip for their goalkeeper, a reason they resorted to the use of a goalkeeper’s strip which did not conform with the provisions in Law 4 of the Laws of the Game as there was no number at the back same. The Committee therefore, held the view that the club had acted in breach of Article 17(1)(d) of the General Regulations of the GFA.

On the second count, Accra Hearts of Oak explained that the delay in the kick-off of the match would have been averted, if the referee had allowed the club to combine the warm-up vest with the alternative strip of the goalkeeper.

The club further stated in support of its position that when the referee eventually allowed the official goalkeeper’s strip to be used for the match, it did not result in any confusion.

The Committee held the view that the actions and inactions of Hearts of Oak partly contributed to the delayed kick-off of the match and also put the GFA in danger of violating its contractual obligations towards its television partner.

The Committee was convinced that Hearts of Oak had breached Articles 23(1)(a) and 35(7)(d) of the General Regulations of the GFA but did not breach Article 17(3) of the General Regulations of the GFA. The Committee however, took judicial notice of the plea for leniency by Accra Hearts of Oak.

The DC also fined Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba GHc10,000.00 in respect of the First Capital Plus Premier League match between Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak played at the Baba yara Sports Stadium on February 7, 2015.

Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba was charged for failure to discharge his duties of ensuring that the Regulations of the Ghana Football Association were followed and for the Kumasi Asante Kotoko vrs Hearts of Oak Match day 7 game to kick-off exactly at the stipulated time.

In his Statement of Defence to the Committee, Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba admitted that the said match, which was officially scheduled to kick off at 3:15pm, suffered a delay of about five (5) minutes but asserted that the delay was not caused by any of the match officials.

He stated further that he had explained in his match report that the match did not start on time and that it was delayed for about 5 minutes due to the fact that the reserve strip for the Hearts of Oak goalkeeper as presented for inspection before kick off did not conform to Law 4 of the Laws of the Game as same did not bear a number.

Referee Emmanuel Dally-Gagba also added that the situation, which first became apparent at the pre-match technical meeting, was captured in his report on the match and urged the Committee to watch the video of both the pre-match technical meeting and the early minutes of the match for confirmation.

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