The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has fined British owned club Right to Dream Academy (RtD) ¢2,000.00 and threatened a further transfer ban if they fail to comply with their decision to include Phobia Babies SC and Sporting Club Accra in the claim of Training Compensation and FIFA Solidarity of Player Kamal Sowah.

The case was first brought to the attention of the general public through two different publications in the NEW CRUSADING GUIDE late last year.

The Player Status Committee of the GFA upheld an application by an Accra based juvenile club Phobia Babies SC on 18th May, 2018 to be included in the claim of training compensation for the transfer of the said player from RtD to English Premier League side Leicester City.

The PSC ordered the clubs to share the total amount of training compensation of €261,425 with Phobia Babies SC and Sporting Club Accra due €78,427.5 each while Right to Dream Academy are entitled to €104,570.

Despite failing to overturn the PSC decision’s at the Appeals and Review Committees respectively after “filing woefully out of time”, RtD which is owned by a British national Tom Vernon is yet to comply with the decision, drawing the ire of the Disciplinary Committee.

“Pursuant to article 15 (1) (a) of the GFA Disciplinary Code, Right to Dream Academy is fined an amount of GH ¢2,000.00 for failing to comply with the Player Status Committee’s decision which was confirmed by the Appeals and Review Committees,” a letter signed by the chairman of the GFA Disciplinary Committee (DC) Osei Kwadwo Adow esq. on Friday, 31st January said.

The DC further set a final deadline of February 19th, 2020 for RtD to make payments or suffer a transfer ban, or a ban from all football related activities, among other punishments.

“Pursuant to Article 15 (1) (c) of the GFA Disciplinary Code, should your club fail to comply with the final deadline of February 19, 2020, the following sanctions shall apply:
(i) suffer a three (3) points deduction from your accumulated points for each match played after the deadline,
(ii) Suffer a transfer ban for a period of one (1) year, should your club fail to pay the amount in full, after the final deadline (Wednesday, February 19, 2020),
(iii) Suffer demotion to Division One if your club fails to pay the amount in full one (1) year after the deadline.

The statement warned, “Pursuant to Article 15 (3) of the GFA Disciplinary Code, if Right to Dream Academy disregards the final time limit, the GFA Disciplinary Committee shall implement the sanctions imposed. A transfer ban or a ban on taking part in any football related activity may only be lifted before it has been fully served upon the payment of the due amounts, with other disciplinary measures being reserved.”

End in sight!!
The latest ruling by the DC brings this long running saga closer to an end. The little known Accra based juvenile club Phobia Babies SC have for over a year struggled to get the GFA to enforce the earlier decision taken by the PSC.

There are records of numerous letters they wrote to remind the local football governing body to enforce the ruling while RtD also failed to heed earlier warning letters and a deadline sent by at least two Deputy Secretary Generals of the GFA.

It seems they’re finally getting a fair hearing following the assumption of the Kurt Okraku led GFA, coupled with a new General Secretary and a newly constituted DC.

Meanwhile, the owner of RtD Tom Vernon is highly regarded in Ghana football and African football because of the exploits of graduates of his famed academy.

In the specific case of Kamal Sowah, the powerful RtD acting through its Chief Executive Officer Gareth Henderby, prevented him and three others from joining the Ghana U-17s for the 2017 FIFA World Cup after the players refused to sign a contract extension. Midfielder Kudus Mohammed eventually signed new terms with RtD and was allowed to play for Ghana at the Fifa U-17 World Cup in 2017.

Surprisingly, RtD were able to replace the three other players in the national team with three other academy players.

FACTS:
Per world football governing body FIFA’s regulations, training compensation is paid to clubs from the beginning of the season of a player’s 12th birthday.

Kamal Sowah was transferred from Phobia Babies SC to Sporting Club Accra per the release agreement dated 27th February, 2010 and signed by both Phobia Babies SC and Sporting Club Accra, the original PSC ruling on 18th May, 2018 said.

It was also established that until his transfer to Sporting Club Accra in February 2010, Kamal was a registered player of Phobia Babies SC from November, 2007.

Right to Dream Academy registered the player, Kamal Sowah from January, 2014 to January, 2018 per the documents in FIFAConnect System.

“To avoid future problems with the career of the player, the Date of Birth in the FIFAConnect shall be accepted as the official date of Birth of the player Kamal Sowah.” the ruling indicated.

In a related development, there is currently another case pending “till further notice” at the PSC involving a foreign owned academy, the West African Football Academy (WAFA) and a locally based side Trax Juniors Soccer Academy with respect to the transfers of footballers Samuel Tetteh and Kofi Boateng. There is no telling when the case will be called for hearing.

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