Sprite Ball: KETABUSCO banned indefinitely and stripped off title

BY: Kweku Zurek
Spriteball: KETABUSCO banned indefinitely and stripped off title
Spriteball: KETABUSCO banned indefinitely and stripped off title

Keta Business College (KETABUSCO) has been banned indefinitely from participating in the Sprite Ball Championship after they were found guilty of fielding "unqualified players" during their 2019-20 title triumph.

Additionally, KETABUSCO has also been stripped of the title by the Ghana Education Service (GES).

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The offence of fielding unqualified players relates to the decision of the school to field five players who are not students of KETABUSCO during the two-day basketball championship reserved for Senior High School (SHS) students.

Graphic Online gathered that as a result, there would be no winner of the Sprite Ball Boy's Championship for the year 2019-2020 given that KETABUSCO defeated several teams before outclassing defending champions Mfantsipim School 48-40 to win their first title in the 13-year history of the competition. 

A statement issued by organisers of the competition, Rite Sports, said the Physical Education (PE) Master of KETABUSCO, Mr Daniel Kovor admitted that five (5) of the players presented at the Championship were not qualified to play.

"The Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Lawyer Anthony Boateng, Head of Rite Sports, Yaw Sakyi Afari, National PE Coordinator, Emmanuel Dormenyah and his Deputy Cynthia Wise held a meeting with Mr E. Seake-Kwawu, the Headmaster of Keta Business College, PE Master Kovor Daniel and his assistant Henry Habada to discuss the issues surrounding the eligibility of some of the players.," the statement said.

"PE Master Daniel Kovor admitted that five (5) of the players presented at the Championship were not qualified to play. They were instructed by the Deputy Director-General to return the trophy, cash and the other items. The school has been banned indefinitely from the Championship". 

The decision means Prince Gidisu and Coach Senyo Ashiagbor will return their respective tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Coach of the tournament individual awards.

"The GES will in the coming days issue a statement which will state the punishment for the Headmaster and PE Teachers. The Headmaster was rebuked for negligence and Teachers for cheating," the statement said.

Ill-fated triumph

KETABUSCO began their ill-fated triumph on January 3 with a stunning 32-24 win over defending champions Mfantsipim School 32-24 in the Group stages of the competition.

Buoyed by the ball-handling skills of point-guard Prince Gidisu they accounted for Opoku Ware School 31-20 in their second and final group game.

After progressing as winners of Group A, they overpowered Prempeh College 33-25 in the semi-finals to book a final with Mfanstsipim.

In the final, KETABUSCO appeared stronger, quicker and much more aggressive in the contest as they recorded a second win over their opponents in two-days.

Other standout performers for KETABUSCO included Nana Opoku Amusah, Richmond Dzikunu, Daniel Setordzi and Prosper Davor who were dominant at both ends of the court during the competition.

Cheating in Sprite Ball

KETABUSCO becomes the third school from the Volta region to be banned for fielding unqualified players at the Sprite Ball.

It will be recalled that Keta Senior High and Technical School and Mawuli Senior High School were banned two years each after fielding unqualified players in January 2018.

Updated rules

The statement stressed that as part of efforts to curb cheating during the competition, all schools will be furnished with updated versions of the rules and regulations governing the Sprite Ball.

"We hope no school will attempt to cheat in any competition going forward. We will share with all participating schools the updated GREEN BOOK, Regulations governing the Sprite Ball Championship which has details of the Schools and Colleges Regulations and other relevant details".