The Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) has been caught up in a match-fixing scandal at the just ended qualifiers for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The local table tennis governing body has ordered the suspension of the results of the just-ended justifier for the Commonwealth Games pending the outcome of an investigation.
The development comes after the Ghana Football Association similarly demoted two premier league sides, Ashantigold and Inter Allies, among other heavy sanctions for engaging in match-fixing.
According to a publication by the Daily Graphic, ten top national table tennis players took part in an all-play-all qualification over the last two days.
Four players, Derek Abrefa, Emmanuel Commey, Emmanuel Asante, and Ernest Mawutor emerged as the top players in the end.
But the Graphic indicates that reports of match-fixing emerged on the first day of the competition last Sunday, with players alleging some of their colleagues were making it easier for others to win matches, and take up qualification slots for the Birmingham Games.
Graphic reporter Kwame Larweh states in his report that some of the players were even alleged to have received an inducement to throw matches.
The President of the GTTA Mawuko Afadzinu reportedly expressed his disappointment at the turn of events in an encounter with the players at the end of the exercise where he ordered the suspension of the results.
“I am very disappointed in some of you and I least expected this from you. We can’t accept fixed matches and fake matches; it doesn’t bode well for us and won’t help our game,” he told the 10 participants at the DG Hathiramani Hall, Accra Sports Stadium on Monday according to the Graphic.
He added that the game can only be built on strong values of integrity.
“We need to grow the game with integrity, principle, and true talent; we can do better than this,” he said.
Further, the GTTA boss an inquiry to determine what had happened.
“We are going to investigate this to the bottom and punish the perpetrators,” he insisted.
It will be recalled that the Black Loopers, as they are affectionately called, were in the news a couple of weeks ago when they booked their places at next year’s International Table Tennis Federation (ITTC) World Table Tennis Championship to be held in Durban, South Africa.
Ghana’s female team, made up of Cynthia Kwabi, Eva Adom Amankwa, Celia Baah Danso, Milicent Ankude, and Blessing Labanti won silver in the team event to qualify for their first ITTF World Championships.
Their male counterparts, including Derek Abrefa, Emmanuel Commey, Bernard Joe Sam, Emmanuel Asante, and Emmanuel Ofori settled for third place.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s number one seed, Derek Abrefa also secured his place at the 2023 ITTF Championships in the singles event.
Therefore, it comes as a big surprise that match-fixing allegations have surfaced just weeks after the feat.