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Ghana Could Miss Out On Tokyo Olympic Games – General Secretary

The GAA slated December 15, 2018 for the congress in Tamale, but an application for an interlocutory injunction to be placed on it by the former Chairman of the GAA on December 10, 2018 meant, the GAA had to rescind their move to avoid contempt of court.

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Ghana could miss out on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games should the current court battle between the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), and 15 other Plaintiffs led by Ambassador George Haldane-Lutterodt, drags in court for long, according to General Secretary, Bawah Fuseini.

The GAA is in court with Mr. Lutterodt and his team following the announcement of a fixed date for elective congress in Tamale.

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The GAA slated December 15, 2018 for the congress in Tamale, but an application for an interlocutory injunction to be placed on it by the former Chairman of the GAA on December 10, 2018 meant, the GAA had to rescind their move to avoid contempt of court.

In a 42 point writ served to four defendants, Professor Francis Dodoo, President of the GAA, Bawah Fuseini, General Secretary, National Sports Authority and the Ghana Olympic Committee, Mr. Lutterodt and his team, amongst other things, accused the current leadership of the GAA of taking unilateral decisions without involving ex-officio and also alleged that delegates number has been increased from 19 to 33 to favour certain individuals.

They also stated that the current administration have no locus to organize elections because their mandate expired in April 2018 and called on the Sports Ministry to name an interim committee to manage the affairs of the GAA until such a time elections would be held for new executives to be elected.

The Accra High Court, where the application was granted slated December 20, 2018 for hearing, but had to adjourn the case to next year due to faulty application of the writ by the plaintiffs  earlier today.

And the General Secretary believes the decision has a far reaching effect on athletics in the country, including a potential exclusion from international competitions, notably Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“[The decision] affects the GAA in so many ways — it clips our wings,” Bawa told GhanaCrusader after court hearing on Thursday.

He added: “We cannot do anything as we speak now because Congress would have been the body that rectifies or approves 2019 programmes. Now that Congress is no more coming on as planned, there’s no authority to approve the 2019 programme.”

Coaches are preparing athletes for next year’s programmes that awaited approval from the GAA powerful decision-making body, but due to the current impasse that has thrown their objectives into the wind, Bawah reckon athletes will suffer the most.

“Our cry is for the Athletes and Coaches,” he continued “We planned to go to Tamale late January if our planned programme was approved by Congress, since there is no Congress, athletes would be training, coaches would be training with this kind of huge uncertainty.

“We cannot even go for sponsorship. We are court so which corporate body or institution would like to associate itself with an association that is in court and don’t know their calendar?” He quizzed.

Bawah on behalf of the GAA pleaded with the court to expedite its ruling on the matter to pave for athletes to have equal opportunities of representing Ghana in upcoming international competitions.

“The court is the natural arbiter of the case between the GAA and the plaintiffs and we are praying that the case shouldn’t go too far because the more we delay, the more the athletics would suffer, the more athletes would not compete, the more coaches would not have the opportunity to see what they have taught the athletes during training.

“Not only are we going to suffer these, we need to participate in international competitions. In April, there will be Africa junior championships in Cote D’ Voire, now that we don’t know our fate, whether we will participate or not, we don’t know. Our locals programmes are in limbo so how do we go in for international?

“Don’t forget we also have All Africa Games in Morocco, we have world championship in Doha, we have world relays in Tokyo, these are four major international competitions that can qualify Ghanaian athletes to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. If we miss this year (2019), I can guarantee you that we will miss the Olympic Games next year (2020).” He warned.

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