In the opinion of some of football people, not much has changed in Ghana football but they are hopeful that with careful, deliberately efforts by the new football administration, Ghana football, in the course of time, will truly have a new identity – one that will be markedly different from the old administration.
There are also football people who are of the view that, no matter the time the Kurt Okraku administration will have, nothing will change. To them, the game has been irredeemably ruined. No amount of work will revive it. While they may have their reasons for that low-spirited belief, it is that pessimism I detest.
Everything may not be perfect but it does not mean positive efforts cannot be made to redeem all or part of what was destroyed by our own actions or inactions. We must appreciate positive efforts no matter how little even as we point out the negatives. That is why I am commending the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for the swift manner they handled the violent incident that characterised the Kotoko-Berekum Chelsea game.
Many have disagreed with me on my stance on the punishment to my favourite club but then it has to be understood that, violence has everything it takes to destroy the beautiful game. And if you love something, you do not destroy it. If you love football, you need not destroy it. If we say we love Kotoko, we should not resort to violence to make any case for the club. It is wrong.
It is necessary that, Kotoko are sanctioned to set good example. It is also important that, the Circles have written to the GFA, asking for clemency. That is how we do it. I played a vital role in the appeal for leniency so those who think I do things anyhow on Kotoko should have a rethink. We wait on the GFA to hear the Circles’ plea for clemency.
The changes in the laws governing the game might have aided the GFA to act swiftly and appropriately on the Kumasi incident. That, for me, is a change we must applaud. Delays in the adjudication of disciplinary cases was one big flaw of the previous administration. If disciplinary cases can be dealt with fast and judgements handed quickly, it is a sign of progress, the type of progress that could have the answer to minimising if not eliminating indiscipline.
Article 34 (7) of the GFA General Regulation states that: “Any club, club official, match official, player or member of the GFA or official of the GFA charged with any act of violence or misconduct under this General Regulation and any other Regulation or Statute of the GFA shall be furnished with details in writing of such acts of violence or misconduct and the appropriate punishment thereof.
“A person who has been so charged shall have two (2) days within which: (a) to accept the charge and comply with the punishment; or (b) to deny the charge and request for either a personal hearing or submit a written defence. The Disciplinary Committee may be at liberty to increase the sanctions in this situation.”
The above article and its effective usage will help restore discipline and confidence in the system if the prosecutors do not slack. It is unfortunate that, Asante Kotoko had to suffer this fate but let us laud the GFA. They have sent a good signal with this case. Maybe, and just maybe, they should also hear the Circles’ plea for mercy.