GFA to appeal against Black Maidens’ ban

BY: Bernard Neequaye
Kurt Okraku --- GFA President
Kurt Okraku --- GFA President

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has officially written to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to notify it of its intention to appeal against the two-year ban slapped on the Black Maidens for an alleged age cheating.

The GFA, in a statement issued on Thursday, declared its readiness to contest the decision of the CAF Disciplinary Committee.

The statement indicated that the FA had already paid the appeal filing fee in accordance with Article 58 of the CAF Discipline Code.

It noted that the appeal would be filed within the seven-day stipulated period for filing such appeals as per Article 55 of the CAF Disciplinary Code.

Ghana was last Monday banned from competing in the next two editions of the U-17 Women's World Cup African qualifiers due to age cheating.

The decision was taken at a Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee meeting in Morocco on the sidelines of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) which kicked off in Rabat last Saturday.

The ruling signed by the Chairman of the CAF Disciplinary Board, Raymond Hack, also fined Ghana US$100,000 for the offence.

The CAF decision followed a protest filed by Morocco against Ghana for fielding Nancy Amoh and Rasheeda Shahadu, whom they alleged to be overaged, during the India 2022 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup qualifiers. The CAF ruling indicated that the two players lied about their birth dates and were over the age of 17.G

According to the CAF statement, the GFA was given the opportunity to respond to the allegations made by Morocco in writing to the CAF Disciplinary Board, but it failed to do so.

It will be recalled that Morocco beat Ghana in the final round of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in India last month.

Ghana won the first leg 2-0 in Accra, but Morocco also won 2-0 in the return leg to push the tie into penalties which they won to qualify.

Though Ghana accused Morocco of sabotaging their efforts during the second leg in Rabat, including disqualifying four Maidens defenders for testing positive for COVID-19.

The Maidens claimed they were forced to hold their half-time pep-talk in the dressing room corridors after their room was sprayed with chemicals.

Meanwhile, the Moroccans had earlier protested against the use of the affected players prior to the first leg in Accra, compelling officials of the Ghana team to drop them from the team.