The GFA Appeal’s Committee have ruled in favor of Berekum Chelsea in their appeal against the Disciplinary Committee’s ruling which saw them forfeit all matches they played in since February 4. The Disciplinary Committee on Friday 20 March, 2015 declared Chelsea losers of all their matches played after February 4 until they settle their indebtedness to WAFA in respect of Solomon Asante’s transfer fees. Chelsea then filed an appeal against the ruling. And in its ruling delivered on Thursday 16th April, 2015, the Appeal’s Committee decided that:
1. This is an appeal against the decision of the Disciplinary Committee (DC) dated the 20th March, 2015
2. The respondents lodged a protest before the DC on the 2nd March, 2015 after their 1st Capital Plus Premier 9th Week League match with the appellants played at the Berekum Golden City park on 25th February, 2015 praying for the appellants to be declared as having forfeited the match for their failure to pay a debt in the sum of US$59,722.23 to West African Football Academy (WAFA) arising from the transfer of player Solomon Asante to TP Mazembe of DR Congo within fourteen(14) days as ordered by the Player Status Committee(PSC) on 1st February, 2014. The said match ended in a 1-1 draw.
3. According to the respondents, following the appellants’’ failure to pay the debt in terms of the PSC’s ruling, the General Secretary of the GFA, per a letter dated 14th January, 2015 gave the appellants an ultimatum of fourteen (14) days within which to pay WAFA the said amount failing which the appeallants would be deemed to have acted in violation of the General Regulations of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
4. The appellants in their defence, admitted to the non-payment of the debt but indicated that they had entered into an agreement on payment terms of the debt with WAFA who were satisfied with that arrangement and consequently WAFA had never deemed it necessary to complain about the default in payment if the debt.
5. The said protest was initiated under article 34(1)(i) of the GFA General regulations which provision was found by the DC to have repealed at the time of the filing of the protest.
6. Accordingly, the DC in determining the matter, first considered, and rightly so, the propriety of the protest having been brought under a repeated provision of the General Regulations and decided as follows: “The first issue that engaged the attention of this Committee was the regulation under which Kumasi Asante Kotoko, the Petitioner had brought the instant protest before the Committee. The Petitioner rather shockingly brought its Protest under Article 34(1)(L) of the General Regulations of the Ghana Football Association, which was repealed by the GFA Congress on December 30, 2014. The First Amendment to the GFA General Regulations is amended by its acknowledged this as follows: “Article 34(1)(L) of the General Regulations is amended by its deletion as follows: ARTICLE 34 (1)(L) is hereby deleted The Committee found this very disturbing but will reserve further comments on it. The Committee therefore, holds that the Protest brought before it by Kumasi Asante Kotoko is frivolous in respect of a repealed regulation and shall fail.
7. It is our considered view that the DC having expressly decided that the protest failed in this respect ought to have dismissed the protest because it lacked the requisite jurisdiction to deal with the merits of the protest. Indeed, the DC acted ultra vires its powers or mandate in proceeding to determine the matter on its merits when it had ruled that the protest was not properly brought before it.
8. Consequently, it is our opinion that the determination of the matter on its merits and the consequential orders made by the DC were a nullity and we hereby so declare.
9. Accordingly, the appeal succeeds and the decision of the DC is hereby set aside.
10. Having so decided, we accordingly decline to make any determination or comment on the merits of the instant appeal.
11. No costs is awarded