Former Eleven Wonders General Manager Takyi Arhin hasbrushed aside the assertion that premier league sides Asante Kotoko and Ashantigold SC are eligible to represent Ghana in CAF inter club competitions for next season with last season’s tickets, should the GFA truncates the current league season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ghana Premier League has been on suspension since March 16 following the ban on all social gatherings by the state due to the deadly COVID-19. Before its suspension, 14 matches had been played with some clubs having played 15 in the league and Takyi Arhin believes that is enough to produce clubs to represent Ghana in Africa using the league standings, instead of saying the clubs who represented Ghana last season will automatically go again using the previous seasons tickets.
“If we (Ghana) truncate our league it means CAF will also affected by the situation, because if there is a pandemic then how can CAF say we should play African cup and Confederation”, Takyi Arhin told ghanasportspage.com. “If CAF insists we can play, we shall cross the bridge because we (Ghana) have a laid down procedure already to get the two reps”, he stated.
According to the tough talking football administrator, the debate of who qualifies to represent Ghana in Africa next season has been started too early, but once the Ghana Premier League was in progress before its eventual suspension, one cannot conclude that the league “did not take place” as the CAF regulations say, and so the current league table must be used to get determine which clubs should represent Ghana.
“Some people are saying Kotoko and Ashgold should go again, but that is where the league did not take place at all, that the previous teams shall represent, but this year we started the league, so that assertion cannot be employed that because they represented us last season so they should go again. When the time comes, the league table is there, at the time of suspending or truncating which clubs were first and second on the table? It’s as simple as that”, he maintained.
Takyi Arhin backed his opinion citing what happened in the French Ligue 1, where the FA truncated the league and crowned leaders PSG as champions of the season, qualifying them to represent France in Europe. In his views, Ghana must go the same way in case the current league season gets truncated midway.
“People have forgotten that last year when Kotoko and Ashgold were made to represent Ghana in Africa having won the NC Special Competition, there wasn’t any league. But for this, we started the league, today if you go to France they’ve declared PSG champions based on what, was it not on the league table? So if we also truncate our league are we not to use the league table? So that assertion that Kotoko and Ashgold to represent Ghana is automatic should be put to the dust bin for now”, he urged.
Takyi Arhin also opined, that if we are unable to complete the FA Cup matches, the club that placed second on the truncated league table (if truncated) should be made to represent Ghana in the Confederation Cup.
In its regulations on admitting clubs into the Champions League and the Confederation Cup, CAF states clearly what to be done where for various reasons, a federation’s league or Cup competition “did not take place”, and also where for various reasons, the league or the Cup competition is “stopped for more than one year”, but remains silent on the current situation confronting the world, where the said competitions actually ‘took place or were started’ but truncated midway.
Article 4 (6)(7) of the CAF Confederation Cup regulations states; “If for any reason, the national cup of a federation did not take place, the federation in question has the right to submit the participation request of the same club(s) engaged having played the national cup and the national league from the previous season. If for any reason, the national cup of a federation was stopped for more than a year, the federation in question cannot engage any club in CAF CC”.
Tthe above article applies to Ghana’s FA Cup, and similar applies to the national league.
With regards to the CAF Champions League representation, the competition regulations Article 4 (6)(7) state; ” If for any reason, the national league of a federation did not take place, the federation in question has the right to submit the participation request of the same club(s) engaged having played the national league from the previous season. If for any reason, the national league of a federation was stopped for more than a year, the federation in question cannot engage any club in CAF Champions League”.
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