Relegation battlers, Legon Cities, has been awarded three points in their match day 23 Ghana Premier League (GPL) encounter against Ebusua Dwarfs at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in the latest boost to their quest for survival.
In its decision on Tuesday, the Disciplinary Committee of the FA, chaired by Osei Kwadwo Addo blamed Dwarfs FC for the acts that led to the abrupt end of the match and accordingly declared that Dwarfs FC forfeit the match in accordance with Article 33(1)(b) of the GFA Premier League Regulations.
The committee ruled that having been found to have forfeited the match, Dwarfs was considered as having lost the match in accordance with Articles 33(2) and 34(12) of the GFA Premier League Regulations and accordingly, three points and three (3) goals are awarded in favour of Legon Cities FC.
Being the defaulting club, Ebusua Dwarfs FC shall lose three points from the club’s accumulated points from their previous matches pursuant to Article 33(5)(a) of the GFA Premier League Regulations.
Again, being the defaulting club, Dwarfs was fined GH¢5,000.00 payable to the GFA, 50 per cent of which shall be paid to Legon Cities FC pursuant to Article 33(5)(b) of the GFA Premier League Regulations.
As the defaulting club and being the home team, Dwarfs was also ordered to pay an amount of GH¢1,000.00 payable to the GFA, which shall be paid to Legon Cities FC as their transportation cost pursuant to Article 33(5)(c) of the GFA Premier League Regulations.
The committee’s decision was in response to a protest lodged by Legon Cities against Ebusua Dwarfs for causing the abrupt end of their match played at the Cape Coast Stadium on Sunday, May 9, 2021.
According to Legon Cities, when the two teams walked onto the field of play for the second half of the game to begin at a time Legon Cities FC was leading 1-0, the Match Officials failed to come out due to threats, attacks and incessant intimidation from supporters of the home team within the dressing room areas.
It was the case of the Royals that this conduct of the supporters rendered it unsafe for the Match Officials to continue the match, adding that the players of Legon Cities waited for the resumption of the game till 5:48pm when the players of both teams departed the field of play.
Legon Cities therefore prayed the committee to be declared winners of the match and accordingly awarded with three points and three goals as stipulated in Article 33(2) of the GFA Premier League Regulations.
They further prayed the Committee that having been considered as losers of the said match, three points and three goals should be deducted from the accumulated points of Ebusua Dwarfs FC in accordance with Article 33(4) of the GFA Premier League Regulations.
But in their defence, Dwarfs FC refuted the claim that their supporters positioned themselves in a way to hinder the progress of the match and rather raised suspicions that the referee had a preconceived mind to deny Dwarfs victory in the match.
Dwarfs claimed that the referee just found a lame excuse in abandoning the match after the first half considering that though Dwarfs FC was down by a goal, there was a likelihood they could win the match.
Dwarfs denied throwing water sachets, water bottles and other missiles on to the field of play in the course of the match, adding that at no time was the referee heckled.
They argued that over 50 security personnel were deployed at the stadium for the match and denied claims of intimidation from its supporters against the Referee and added that the atmosphere at the stadium was serene due to the adequate security presence.
But the committee dismissed Dwarfs’ argument after considering the match reports and watching videos to confirm claims made by Legon Cities; going ahead to grant the reliefs.
According to the committee, the fines must be paid to the GFA within 14 days upon receipt of the ruling, failing which Ebusua Dwarfs FC shall forfeit their subsequent matches after the said deadline.
It said that should any party be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this decision, the party has within a day to appeal to the Appeals Committee of the Ghana Football Association to be heard again.
BY ANDREW NORTEY