George Afriyie heads to Court of Arbitration for Sports - Lawyer Richmond Saaka confirms

Published on: 19 September 2023

In a dramatic turn of events, Ghana Football Association (GFA) Presidential hopeful George Afriyie is taking his disqualification from the 2023 elections to the highest echelon of sports justice.

Afriyie's legal representative, Richmond Saaka, has confirmed that they are set to escalate the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

This move comes after Afriyie's candidacy was rendered ineligible, sparking intense debates within the football community.

"I have instructions from the client [George Afriyie], the instructions is based on the advice he has been given and the advice is informed by the very same GFA Statues and regulations," he told Citi Sports.

"The statues and regulations say that you can file an appeal, if you are not happy with a certain decision and then you can head to the Court of Arbitration for Sports or the National Independent Arbitration Tribunal to deal with (an) appeal that arise.

"So we believe that, per the rules of the GFA, these are available options, we will head to the Court of Arbitration for Sports or engage the National Independent Arbitration Tribunal to help us appeal the decision of the Appeals Committee of the Ghana Football Association, because that is what the statues of the FA provides,"

The former GFA Vice President was disqualified earlier this month by the Elections Committee for failing to meet the criteria outlined in Article 13(2)(j) of the Ghana Football Association statutes, 2019, and for not garnering the required support from fellow GFA members for his candidacy.

Last week, he successfully filed an appeal to get back in contention to contest the GFA presidential election.

After assessing the appeal, the Election Committee has dismissed it.

“We wish to state that this provision is not applicable to the facts of this case. A review of the Checklist for 2023 GFA elections shows that Mr. George Kwasi Afriyie submitted all documents in support of his application. It is not the case that a police clearance certificate or passport picture had not been included which would have warranted the application of Article 8(3) of the Election Regulations.

“The invalidity of any document submitted cannot be cured by reference to Article 8(3) of the Elections Regulations. Indeed, if Mr. George Kwasi Afriyie had submitted an invalid Tax Clearance certificate or an invalid Police Clearance certificate, it would have made his nomination invalid. Mr. George Kwasi Afriyie's nomination was supported by only four members of the GFA and therefore his nomination is not valid. In the circumstances, we shall dismiss the appeal,” parts of the decision taken by the committee said.