The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has banned Steadfast FC from using the Aliu Mahama Stadium as its Home Venue with immediate effect.
This decision was taken aimed at Players and Officials of Nsoatreman FC were held hostage by supporters of the Steadfast FC in their Division One League match on Sunday, May 8, 2022.
The GFA Competitions Department will fix venues for upcoming home matches of Steadfast FC taking into consideration the distance to be travelled by the away teams.
Below are contents of letters sent to each of the Club:
The seminars and meetings on Safety and Security at match venues organised by the Ghana Football Association (the Association or the GFA) for clubs, the GFA Regulations on Safety and Security and the Disciplinary Code refer.
It is against this background of the efforts invested into promoting the safety and security at our matches that the Association is shocked and extremely alarmed at the holding of the team officials and players of the Away Team-Nsoatreman FC hostage at the Tamale Sports Stadium in the Northern Region by the home supporters in the Division One League – Zone 1 match played between Steadfast FC and Nsoatreman FC on Sunday, May 8, 2022, which ended 1-1.
Again, considering the fact that the GFA has a process for complaining about any alleged bad officiating (if any) for redress through the Match Review Panel, the Executive Council of the Association see any attack on the match officials and any participant of the game as “an attack against the entire sport, it being, unwarranted and criminal”.
The Executive Council has accordingly exercised its powers under Article 14(2) of the Division One League Regulations and has banned the venue for the use of Steadfast FC indefinitely.
14(2) “The GFA may order the closure of any league centre/venue where the safety of clubs, match officials and/or spectators cannot be guaranteed”.
The GFA notes the unacceptable conduct the supporters of the home team-Steadfast FC and condemns, without any reservations, the violations of the provisions of the GFA the Safety and Security Regulations which took place at the match.
The GFA Prosecutors have been tasked to study all the evidence and the match reports and prefer appropriate Charges immediately and for the Disciplinary Committee to sit on this matter expeditiously.
The GFA demands that Steadfast FC shall immediately assist the Regional Police to cause the arrest of the persons involved in the holding of the team officials hostage, without fail, in accordance with the promise given by the clubs to the Inspector General of Police in our engagement with the leadership of the Ghana Police Service.
The Association has instructed the Competitions Department to fix the venues for the upcoming home matches of Steadfast FC, until the case is determined, with due regards to the distance to be travelled by the away teams (note that matches can be fixed at the home of the away team, if required).
That all clubs are to take note and comply strictly with the GFA Matchday COVID-19 Protocols, the Safety & Security Regulations and the GFA Disciplinary Code.
The GFA wishes to sound a strong note of caution to all members (especially all clubs) that the slightest harassment or attack on Players, Team Officials, Match Officials (Referees, Match Commissioners, GFA Cameramen & Women, Venue Media Officers, the sports media) shall be dealt with severely and swiftly.
Also, any comments from any player, team or club official and club social media handles which incites supporters against other teams and match officials shall be dealt with as well (charges shall be preferred as well).
There shall be zero tolerance for violence and/or incitement to violence in our game especially in this second round of the leagues.