The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed Tema Youth Owner, Wilfred Osei Kwaku Palmer’s appeal against The Ghana Football Association.
Palmer went to Swiss court challenging his disqualification from contesting the GFA presidential elections in October 2019, which Kurt Okraku won.
Palmer wanted the GFA elections annulled and his candidacy reinstated for fresh elections to be held.
However, in a letter addressed to both parties, and signed by the President of the Panel, Michele Bernasconi, CAS backed the decision of the GFA to disqualify Palmer from contesting the election.
Why was Palmer disqualified?
With the GFA in Normalisation following the Anas Aremeyaw Anas documentary in June 2018, the Normalisation Committee was tasked with organizing fresh elections to replace the ousted GFA administration of Kwesi Nyantakyi.
As the Elections Committee, the NC put together a sub-committee, the Vetting Committee, which was tasked with vetting all candidates interested in contesting the GFA Presidential Elections.
The Vetting Committee, chaired by Lawyer Frank Davis, vetted 7 candidates, approved 6 and disqualified one – Wilfred Osei Kwaku Palmer.
Two reasons were given for his disqualification –
- 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). According to the Vetting Committee, this action was in flagrant violation of the GFA Regulations [Article 33 (5) (C)] and a person seeking to govern an institution cannot be seen to be disregarding that very institutions’ rules and regulations.
- 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. The Committee held that Palmer had been found guilty by a judicial body of the GFA (Ethics Committee) for the comments and say the remarks prove Palmer lacks moral integrity to hold the position of GFA President.
The cost of the arbitration, which will be determined by CAS, and sent to both parties will be borne by Palmer.