A member of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Techiman City FC, has described the decision of the association to forward proposed amendments to ‘FIFA for guidance’ as ‘unacceptable, and to say the least, irreconcilable, unconscionable and repugnant to the Statutes of the GFA’.
The letter sent to the football governing body, and copied to FIFA on Monday, August 24, 2020, said FIFA has no jurisdiction over proposals for amendment of Statutes of its Member Associations.
‘Congress of the GFA is the only forum clothed with the requisite jurisdiction to consider proposals for the amendment of the GFA statutes’, the club’s President, Charles Kwadwo Ntim, noted.
Also known as Micky Charles, Ntim questioned the window created by the FA to members to enable them to submit proposals as required by the Statutes, saying, it is a stampede on the rights of members of the FA.
FULL LETTER BELOW
THE GENERAL SECRETARY
GHANA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
RE: RESOLUTION UNDER ARTICLE 32(1) OF GFA STATUTES PROPOSING AGENDA ITEMS FOR CONGRESS OF GFA
Techiman City FC acknowledge receipt of your mail dated 20th August 2020 in which you sent to us a notice for the Convocation of Congress together with the Agenda and necessary documents for consideration at the next GFA Congress scheduled for 1st September 2020.
As one of the Members of the GFA that supported the proposal of the Brong Ahafo Regional Football Association, it is regrettable to note that you have failed and/or refused to include the proposals for amendments to the 2019 Statutes of the GFA for the consideration of Congress.
We have learnt that, in a correspondence to te Chairman of the Brong Ahafo Regional Football Association, you gave two (2) reasons for your decision. A copy of the letter dated 20th August 2020 to the Chairman of the Brong Ahafo Regional Football Association is attached to this letter for ease of reference. The reasons given for your decision are unacceptable, and to say the least, are irreconcilable, unconscionable and repugnant to the Statutes of the GFA.
The first reason given for your decision is that, the proposals for amendments submitted by the Members of the GFA to the GFA Secretariat, failed to meet the 30-day requirement of Article 32(1) of the GFA Statutes. Article 32(1) provides that:
“The General Secretary shall draw up the agenda based on proposals from the Executive Council and the Members of GFA. Any proposal emanating from a Member of GFA shall be made in writing, addressed to the Executive Council and sent to the GFA Secretariat at least thirty (30) days before the stipulated date of the meeting of Congress. The proposal shall include a brief explanation of the basis of said proposal.”
The right of Members of the GFA to submit proposals for inclusion in the Agenda of Congress is guaranteed by the GFA Statutes.
Article 15(1)(b) provides that, the Members of GFA shall have the right to draw up proposals for inclusion in the Agenda of Congress. General
We wish to emphasise that, the GFA Statutes require the Executive Council to give Members of the GFA notice of Meetings of Congress with the inalienable RIGHT, not privilege of all Members, to propose items for inclusion in the Agenda for Congress. That right cannot be reduced, curtailed, circumscribed or undermined by anybody within the setup or outside the setup of the GFA. An analogous provision is formulated in the FIFA Statutes. Article 25(2) of the FIFA Statutes provides that:
“The Ordinary Congress shall be held every year. The Council shall fix the place and date. The Member Associations shall be notified in writing at least four months in advance of the place and date of such Ordinary Congress. The formal Convocation shall be made in writing at least one month before the date of the Congress. This convocation shall contain the Agenda, the President’s Report, the Financial Statements, including the Consolidated Financial Statements and the Auditors’ Report.”
Unlike the FIFA Statutes, the GFA Statutes doesn’t provide a time frame for submission of items for inclusion in the Agenda for Congress. That notwithstanding, it’s expected that the STIPULATED DATE for Congress would be fixed within a reasonable time frame for Members who so desire, to exercise their right and submit proposals for inclusion in the Agenda for Congress in compliance with Articles 15(1)&32(1) of the GFA Statutes.
In the case under review, by a letter dated 28th July 2020 the GFA Executive Council informed Members of the GFA that the next Congress had been fixed for 27th August 2020. Wittingly or unwittingly, the Executive Council didn’t request or remind Members (as FIFA does) to submit proposals for inclusion on the Agenda for Congress, if any Member so desired.
Without any prompting, the Brong Ahafo Regional Football Association and 43 other Members of the GFA exercised their right under Articles 15(1), 32(1) & 34 and submitted proposals for amendment of the GFA Statutes to the GFA Secretariat on 28th July 2020, the same date the GFA notified Members of 27th August 2020, as the STIPULATED date for Congress.”
The letter of the General Secretary refusing to include the proposals of Members for the amendments of the GFA Statutes leaves in its wake, several unanswered questions. They include the following.
1. Until 28th July 2020, no Member of the GFA knew the stipulated date for the next Congress. Consequently, how could any Member send a proposal to the Secretariat for inclusion in the Agenda for Congress before receipt of the notice of Congress on 28th July 2020?
2. As the GFA itself hasn’t been fair to its Members by providing them any time at all to submit proposals for inclusion in the Agenda for Congress, how does the GFA expect Members to exercise the right to propose items for inclusion in Agenda for Congress?
3. Does the Executive Council have the right in a remotest sense, to deny Members of the GFA the right to propose items for inclusion in the Agenda for Congress of the GFA?
4. How can the Executive Council accuse Members of failing to meet the 30- day requirement of Article 32(1) of the GFA Statutes when the Council itself failed to provide even one (1) day for Members to exercise their right to propose items for inclusion in the Agenda of Congress
5. Did the Executive Council act capriciously in unlawfully, unjustifiably and illegally taking away the right of Members of the GFA to propose items for inclusion in the Agenda of Congress?
6. Can the Executive Council deny Members the right to propose items for inclusion in the Agenda of Congress since “one who seeks equity must come with clean hands”
If the first reason for the decision is unjustified, the second reason is more offensive to the Statutes of FIFA and GFA.
From the letter to the Chairman of the Brong Ahafo Regional Football Association, the General Secretary of the GFA claims the proposals for amendment have been submitted to FIFA for guidance. With due respect, there’s no provision in either the Statutes of FIFA or GFA that require proposals for amendment of the GFA Statutes to be submitted to FIFA for guidance. The GFA Statutes of September 2019 which was amended during the tenure of the present administration in December, 2019 (without recourse to FIFA), is the only reference document for amendment of the same Statutes. The FIFA Secretariat is aware it has no jurisdiction over proposals for amendment of Statutes of its Member Associations. The Congress of the GFA is the only forum clothed with the requisite jurisdiction to consider proposals for the amendment of the GFA statutes. The reference to FIFA for guidance must be a ploy adopted to frustrate the proposals which are long overdue.
The only occasion that the Statutes of the GFA have been referred to FIFA was during the drawing up of new Statutes under the directions of FIFA or the era of the Normalisation Committee. What new circumstances have given rise to the reference to FIFA for guidance?
Please bear in mind that the election of Members of the Executive Council in October 2019 marked the end of the Era of the “vassal” Normalisation Committee.
The reference of proposals for amendment of just a few Articles but not the entire provisions of the GFA Statutes to FIFA for guidance is unprecedented and alien to the architecture, letter and spirit of the Statutes of the GFA.
Our last issue which may appear pedestrian but somewhat germane to the foundations of the GFA is the strange decision of the Executive Council to reschedule the next Congress from 27th August 2020 as previously announced to 1st September 2020. Incidentally, CAS is expected to deliver its decision on 1st September 2020 in the case between Wilfred Osei Kwaku v GFA. The Case enjoys a wide following from Members of the football community in Ghana. Holding Congress on the same date CAS had previously chosen to deliver its decision may present attendees of the GFA Congress with divided attention and concentration on the two(2) equally important events. We believe that the Executive Council ought to take a relook at the date and separate the two events from taking place on the same date.
From the above reasons, the Congress of the GFA scheduled for 1st September, 2020 is incompetent and should be rescheduled until all the legal formalities and requirements including affording Members the opportunity to exercise their rights to propose items for inclusion in the Agenda are followed and fully complied with.
We would advise ourselves if the issues raised are not addressed by the close of business on Wednesday 26th August 2020.
We count on your cooperation.
CHARLES KWADWO NTIM
TECHIMAN CITY FOOTBALL CLUB
CC: THE GENERAL SECRETARY, FIFA
THE GENERAL SECRETARY, CAF