The Kotoko/Metro TV/Oduro Sarfo case
Posted on: Mon Jul 23, 2012
The management of Kotoko has filed an appeal at the Ghana Football Association (GFA) challenging its disciplinary committee ruling, which found the club liable on three counts of misconduct in the case involving Optimum Media Prime (OMP) – the parent company of Metropolitan Television (Metro TV) and the Accra Representative of Berekum Chelsea, Oduro Sarfo.
Management is pleading with the Appeals Committee of the GFA to set aside the fines imposed on Kotoko by the disciplinary committee or alternatively drastically reduce them.
Premised on Article 35 (4) of the Rules and Regulations of the GFA, the disciplinary committee last week found Kotoko liable on three counts of misconduct of its supporters. The committee held that on count one, the supporters attacked and heckled the match officials during the recess and after the Asante Kotoko-Berekum Chelsea, Glo Premier League match, played at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on December 14, 2011.
The committee consequently fined the club GH¢3,000 and relative to count two, the misconduct of the supporters in causing damage to the cables of OMP, a fine of ¢3,000 was slapped on the club whereas on count three, the assault on Oduro Sarfo, the disciplinary committee again fined Kotoko GH¢5,000. The leadership of the club has however rejected the fines.
In a three-paged appeal document, the club’s legal team cited three grounds for the appeal. They said the disciplinary committee of the GFA erred in ruling that Kotoko supporters heckled and attacked the match officials apart from damaging the cables of Metro TV and assaulting the Berekum Chelsea representative, Oduro Sarfo.
Describing the disciplinary committee’s ruling as “erroneous”, the club’s legal team argued that the disciplinary committee “distorted evidence” and “deliberately misinterpreted” it to strengthen its ruling adding that the prosecution was unable to prove that the television station’s cables were damaged. They “merely submitted photographs of brand new cables still in their packaging”.
According to the legal team, in the instance where Oduro Sarfo could not prove the identities of those who assaulted him to be Kotoko supporters, the disciplinary committee, could not determine that the Berekum Chelsea representative was assaulted by Kotoko supporters. The “charges leveled against the club by the prosecution was in essence criminal in nature, in which case the standard of proof in such cases was for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that defendants committed those acts” the Legal Team emphasized.
“It is our submission that the prosecution failed in all three charges to discharge their standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt, choosing instead to use the civil standard proof, being on the balance of probabilities to judge this matter. We therefore appeal against the disciplinary committee’s findings [and] pray the Appeals Committee to find in favour of the defendant/appellant; and set aside the fines imposed on the defendant/appellant by the disciplinary committee or, in the alternative, reduce them significantly” said the Legal Team.
By: Jerome Otchere
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