PLB, Ethics Committee got it wrong!
Posted on: Mon Apr 02, 2012
Back in my primary school’s Religious and Moral Education, I was taught that ethics are acceptable moral principles and practices that govern and also influence human conduct.
I was also taught that values determine behaviour and that our environment, family, education, religion and the media shape our thoughts and actions.
One vital lesson was that there are always grey areas with the issue of morality and ethics.
What maybe moral and ethical within a certain environment will probably be immoral and unethical in another environment! Therefore the definition of ethics or morality is relative.
Notwithstanding the challenge we this face with settling on a single definition on what constitutes morality, we have as a people managed to formulate a number of rules and regulations that govern attitudes in society and though we are usually admonished to behave according to acceptable standards and be law abiding people, sociologists argue that we cannot get everybody to behave well in society.
There will invariably be infractions by people. That is why leaders of our society in various fields of endeavour come out with diverse codes of conduct to regulate lifestyles and attitudes with the hope that there will be law and order, discipline and peace.
In 2011, when the Ghana Football Association (GFA) established its Ethics Committee, their functions were unambiguous. The committee was tasked among other things to “investigate allegations of bribery and corruption, conflicts of interest and or moral turpitude leveled against clubs and their officials, match officials, players, members of the FA boards and committees and any other persons responsible for technical, medical and administrative matters in the GFA, leagues and clubs and make recommendations to the FA”.
The setting up of the committee was good but if they go wrong they must be told in plain language. Over the past two weeks, the Ethics Committee and the Premier League Board (PLB) have adjudicated on some cases – one involving the Referees Committee and Ashanti Regional Football Association Chairman, Osei Tutu Agyeman; the conduct of Liberty Professionals coach J. E. Sarpong and that of Kumasi Asante Kotoko coach Maxwell Konadu.
Reports on the judgments of the PLB and the Ethics Committee exposed issues of ill-judgment, inconsistency and bias which tell me that the PLB and the Ethics Committee particularly have a lot of convincing work to do in the pursuit of their mandate. If not, we must be told why and how Coach J. E. Sarpong who made volatile remarks on television and national radio (I heard him on Uniiq FM), that a referee could be shot for perceived bad performance, appear before the Ethics Committee and be pardoned and warned whereas Coach Maxwell Konadu receives a two-match ban for allegedly insulting a referee.
What is the definition of insult and what is the difference between the person who insults a referee for a poor showing and a person who threatens a referee with death, saying he could be shot also for a poor performance? If Coach Maxwell Konadu would be banned for two matches; why should Coach J. E. Sarpong be pardoned and warned? These are questions the PLB and the Ethics Committee must answer to clear lingering doubts over their commitment to fairness.
The handling and judgment of the Ethics Committee on Osei Tutu’s case is more jaundiced.
It surprises me that the Ethics Committee could not agree with the argument that the Referees Committee and Ashanti Region FA Chairman could not have made his comment that he would not sabotage Asante Kotoko outside of the allegations levelled against by supporters of the club.
Assuming Osei Tutu Agyeman made that comment without the mud thrown at him by Kotoko supporters, there would have been reasonable evidence to dismiss him from his reputable office but if the honourable man was actually reacting to spurious allegations made against him and his committee by Kotoko fans, it is only rational to conclude that his comment was right and fair. The PLB and Ethics Committee really got it wrong with their decisions on Maxwell Konadu, J. E. Sarpong and Osei Tutu Agyeman respectively.
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