Tema Youth President, Wilfred Osei Kwaku Palmer’s appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport has been dismissed following months of litigation between the astute football administrator and the Ghana Football Association’s Normalisation Committee.
In October 2019, Palmer was disqualified from contesting the GFA Presidential elections on two grounds:
- Failure of his club, Tema Youth, to pay a 10% fee to the GFA on the transfer of two players – Gabriel Laveh ($15,000) and Joseph Painstil (€300,000).
- Comments made on Citi FM’s Sports Panorama where he suggested that the Black Stars of Ghana failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup because the country did not make a budget available for unclassified payments to match officials.
That second point was relied on by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in settling on the verdict of the appeal.
While Palmer’s lawyers argued that he was not explicitly suggesting the country must pay bribes to referees to aid the Black Stars in qualifying, CAS maintained that Palmer’s comments were in violation of the ethics of the GFA and “lack requisite integrity of the presidency”.
See a section of the ruling below:
A Commission of Inquiry set up in 2014 after the shambolic showing in the World Cup that year, revealed the country spent approximately $700,000 on unclassified payments and subsequently recommended such payments be scrapped.
The government whitepaper issued on the findings rejected the recommendation, but the Ministry of Youth and Sports did not allocate money for that purpose throughout the 2018 world cup qualifying campaign.
After Ghana failed to make it to Russia, Palmer, a GFA Executive Committee member at the time, said on Citi FM’s Sports Panorama show on October 13, 2017, that the unavailability of budgetary allocation to cater for referees was the reason the country missed out on a 4th successive World Cup appearance.
“If we had spent around $300,000 dollars [on referees], and stood to benefit about $8 million [by appearing at the World Cup], I see nothing wrong with it,” he said.
LISTEN TO THE FULL AUDIO HERE: