Former Ghana Premier League campaigners Heart of Lions have been docked 6 points for fielding an unqualified player in a Division One League game against Akyem Kotoku Royals.
According to the ruling published by the Ghana FA Disciplinary Committee, Lions pleaded guilty to the offense and asked for leniency.
But, the FA’s judicial wing enforced the law at the end of the adjudication process which was triggered by the Eastern region-based club.
Kotoku, bankrolled by Eastern region RFA chairman Linford Asamoah Boadu, petitioned the Ghana FA to take action against Lions for naming Abdul Mohammed Musah – an unqualified player in their matchday 18 clash in Zone 3 of the Division One League.
Kotoku succumbed to a 1-0 home loss against the Lions who were in strong contention for promotion back to the top-flight league.
In their defence, Lions admitted: ” that the player was suspended for the said match and the Club was duly noted that he was unavailable for the match. The club further stated that they unintentionally selected the player and couldn’t edit the team sheet because of internet challenges in Akyem Oda and were forced to use the player.”
But, the Disciplinary Committee didn’t admit their defence and found them guilty of the offence.
The decisions of the DC read as follows.
1. That the protest filed by Kotoku Royals FC shall succeed.
2. That having been found to have forfeited the match, Heart of Lions FC shall
be considered as having lost the match in accordance with Articles 33(2)
and 34(12) and accordingly, three points and three (3) goals are hereby
awarded in favour of Kotoku Royals FC.
3. That in addition, being the defaulting club, Heart of Lions FC shall lose
three (3) points from the club’s accumulated points from their previous
matches pursuant to Article 33(5)(a) of the Division One League
4. That in addition, being the defaulting club, Heart of Lions FC is hereby
fined Two Thousand and Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢2,500.00) payable
to the GFA, 50% of which shall be paid to Kotoku Royals FC pursuant to
Article 33(5)(b) of the Division One League Regulations.
5. That the fines mentioned above, shall be paid to the GFA within fourteen
(14) days upon receipt of this Ruling, failing which Heart of Lions FC shall
forfeit their subsequent matches after the said deadline.
6. That should any party be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this Decision,
the party has within one (1) day of being notified of this Ruling to appeal to
the Appeals Committee of the Ghana Football Association.
The development elevates Kotoku to the summit of the league table ahead of Liberty Professionals and Tema Youth.