The Ghana Football Association (GFA) in the early hours of Thursday, September 29, announced that the 2022/23 betPawa Premier League has been put on hold.

According to the FA, this follows a Motion on Notice for Injunction filed on Wednesday, September 28, at the Human Rights High Court by Ashantigold SC and served on the GA’s lawyers yesterday afternoon.

Here are takeaways from the FA’s decision to put the Premier League season on hold:

  • The notice of injunction from AshantiGold expires on October 14. This means that until then, no match can be played in the betPawa Premier League.
  • The GFA Statutes enjoin all members to warrant not to take the Association to any civil court, a provision which has not been adhered to for many years. The FA statutes threatened to throw out any club that flouts this rule from football system — but they’ve never done that.
  • AshantiGold may have been emboldened to take the FA to court because King Faisal (2014) and Great Olympics, in 2018, were not thrown out. Panelists on the Space also warned that more and more clubs will continue to take the FA to court if the body doesn’t put its feet down.
  • Despite all this, a law student who joined the Space, Kofi Bolasie, noted that it is always going to be difficult for the FA to stop any club from pursuing their constitutional right of seeking legal redress.
  • Nii Adamah, a lawyer who joined the space, said if the court grants Ashantigold’s injunction application on October 14, the actual hearing of the substantive matter could either be expedited by the judge( in which case a final determination would be made in a short time) or be heard in a normal procedure (in which case the League will remain suspended for a long time) which could take months.
  • Nii contends that the best case scenario for the league and the FA would be for the court to throw out Ashgold’s injunction application on October 14
  • MuftawU Nabila Abdulai of JoySports explained that Ashgold’s decision to go to court instead of the Court of Arbitration for Sport May stem from two reasons;

a) they don’t have money for CAS (which costs thousands of euros)

or b) they know CAS would never grant an injunction on the league

  • Nabila also explained that Ashantigold generally feel the FA’s ruling, which demoted the club and banned its executives, was preconceived and without merit
  • Gary Al-Smith of JoySports noted that this break in the league has ramifications beyond the FA: the sponsor (betPawa) is bound to feel let down after investing in the product, GPL clubs will feel the financial pinch of unintended costs, the media stations who have drawn elaborate coverage plans may have to alter these plans, vendors contracted to execute GPL related projects may lose money and – ultimately – fan confidence in the product may plummet further.
  • Fentuo Tahiru of JoySports urged the GFA to consider establishing a mechanism that conducts background checks on ownership of Ghana Premier League clubs to ensure only well-meaning football people can pass the test to own a club. This will ensure sanity and the long-term sustainability of the football economy.
  • The Space agreed that a speedy resolution to the matter is needed if the momentum gained from the announcement of a new sponsor and subsequent buzz around the league should be maintained. It was also the conviction of many contributors that clubs themselves should find a way of stopping these injunctions, which probably hurt themselves more than any other stakeholders.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.