Accra Sports Stadium

Accra Sports Stadium

Hearts of Oak have been handed a one-match home ban and fined GHc3,000 after irate fans threw a missile to hit an assistant referee in their defeat to Hasaacas early this month. 

But the Club has however served their home ban after the GFA Executive Committee temporarily banned the Club from using the Accra Stadium as their home ground after incidents in their match against Hasaacas.

This means next Sunday?s Ghana Premier League derby against rivals Asante Kotoko will be played in Accra.

THE CHARGE

Accra Hearts of Oak SC was charged with two (2) counts as per the Charge Sheet in respect of the First Capital Plus Premier League match between Accra Hearts of Oak SC and Sekondi Hasaacas FC played at Accra on 5th June, 2015.

On the first count, Accra Hearts of Oak SC was charged for failing to control the club?s supporters, around the 6th minute of the match when they rushed to the glass gate and attempted to force their way into the inner parameter to attack Assistant Referee 2 had the Police on duty not resisted their attempt. This behaviour is in violation of the Articles 54, 58 and 59 of the GFA Disciplinary Code and Articles 35(1)(b) and 35(7)(d) the GFA General Regulations.

On the second count, Accra Hearts of Oak SC was charged for failing to control the club?s supporters around the 17th minute of the match when they threw objects at Assistant Referee 2, Issaka Badiu Alhassan resulting in a cut on his head and which caused a hold of play for about thirty (30) minutes in violation of Articles 54, 58 and 59 of the GFA Disciplinary Code and Articles 35(1)(a), 35(3)(b) and 35(7)(d) the GFA General Regulations.

DEFENCE

Accra Hearts of Oak SC did not send a response to the charge against the club even though the Charge Sheet was sent to the club on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 and was also published on www.ghanafa.org. The said Charge Sheet clearly stated that:

?If you choose options 1 or 2, submit your written Statement of Defence to the charge(s) on or before July 21, 2015 on or before 5pm at the GFA Secretariat or through email address to the Disciplinary Committee, [email protected] failing which the Disciplinary Committee shall proceed to adjudicate the case without your Statement of Defence.

Should you choose Defence Options 3 (Personal Hearing) in your Statement of Defence, kindly attend the Disciplinary Committee, May 23, 2015 on or before 4pm at the GFA Secretariat to answer to the charge(s), failure which the Disciplinary Committee shall proceed to adjudicate the case in your absence?.

PROCEEDINGS AND FINDINGS

The Committee considered the Charge Sheet, the video of the match and the reports of the match officials of the said match.

The Committee has established as a fact that the Charge Sheet was sent to Accra Hearts of Oak SC more than three (3) clears days before the hearing in accordance with Article 35(8) of the General Regulations.

More importantly for our purposes, the Charge Sheet was also published the same day on the official website of the Ghana Football Association (www.ghanafa.org) which has become one of the official modes of communication for the GFA since the GFA Congress gave the mode its approval on December 30, 2014.

It is the view of this Committee that Article 37(19) of the General Regulations was complied with, and therefore Accra Hearts of Oak SC has no excuse whatsoever for the club?s failure to respond to the charges and the invitation to the GFA Disciplinary Committee.

Article 37(19) reads: ?All official correspondence including but not limited to daily and weekly information updates, fines, debts, costs, notices, invitations, decisions, communiqu?s and any other information of the Association, its bodies, its Organs, its committees or the Secretariat shall be deemed to have been duly served on a club, its officers, players, supporters, agents, representatives or whoever described, if the service of the said correspondence is communicated to the Club or the Club Secretary or the Club owner, or the Club Representatives submitted to the GFA through its fax, e-mail address, postal address, or delivery of a hard copy thereof or is made or published through the GFA newspaper or newsletter or other national newspapers, the GFA website or announced through any radio station or television station or posted on the GFA notice board?.

This Committee therefore proceeded and adjudicated the matter.

The Committee holds that it will side with the presumption under Article 85 of the Disciplinary Code on the facts stated in the match report as the club failed to disprove the facts of the match report.

The Disciplinary Committee was satisfied with the evidence before it that the conduct of the supporters amounts to misconduct and a breach of Regulations of the GFA and shall accordingly apply the necessary sanction against Accra Hearts of Oak SC in this respect.

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?.

It is worth restating, once again, 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).

DECISIONS

The Disciplinary Committee 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 of Accra Hearts of Oaks SC, hereby imposes a fine of Three Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH?3,000.00) on Accra Hearts of Oak SC in accordance with Article 39(1)(b) of the GFA General Regulations.

2. That the fines mentioned in Decision 1 above, shall be paid to the GFA within fourteen (14) days upon receipt of this Ruling, failing which Accra Hearts of Oak SC 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.

3. That the GFA shall pay an amount of Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GHc500.00) of the fine in Decision 1 above to Assistant Referee Two, Issaka Badiu Alhassan as compensation for his medical bills.

4. That the Committee hereby also suspends the club from playing one (1) home match at the Accra Sports Stadium and the that Premier League Board shall decide where the club shall play the home fixture for which the club is banned.

5. In respect of Decision 4 above and for the avoidance of doubt, the temporary home ban imposed on Accra Hearts of Oak SC from playing at home at the Accra Sports Stadium by the Executive Committee of the Ghana Football Association has automatically ended after Accra Hearts of Oak SC?s fulfilment of the one (1) match home ban at the Robert Mensah Sports Stadium in Cape Coast against Heart of Lions FC on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.

6. That Accra Hearts of Oak SC and its supporters are hereby warned 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.

7. 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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