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Sports News of Monday, 22 June 2020

Source: Ghana Soccernet

CAS puts Ghana FA in disarray, throws out objection over jurisdiction in Palmer case


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CAS has thrown out the Ghana Football Association (GFA)'s objection that the Swiss-based body has no jurisdiction to hear Wilfred Osei 'Palmer' Kwaku against the federation that he was illegally disqualified.

World sports apex court ruled on Monday that it has the full mandate to discharge its duties on ruling on the matter since it is the final body to decide on sports disputes in the world.

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) sought to prevent the Swiss-based body from ruling on the matter that it has no jurisdiction over the case brought by Palmer over his disqualification in the Ghana FA Presidential election.

The situation has put the presidency of Kurt Okraku on the line with wide reaching implication if Palmer becomes successful as CAS could order a re-election just nine months after the latter came to power.

Palmer dragged the GFA to CAS, the final ruling body in sports issues, over his 'unfair' disqualification from the presidential race in October last year claiming he was unfairly ruled out of the race.

But the GFA's lawyers led by Naa Odorfoley, popularly known as 'Naa Gucci', sought to prevent the Swiss-based body from ruling on the matter claiming that it has no jurisdiction over the case.

But the Court of Arbitration for Sport said the claims by the GFA lawyers are wide off the mark and that it will go ahead to rule on the matter on the set date of 17 July.

"Furthermore, and also of the panel, the Parties are informed that the Panel has decided that it has jurisdiction for the case at hand. The reasons for the Panel’s decision will be communicated to the Parties in the final award in the present case,” Counsel to the CAS, Carolin Fischer, wrote in the ruling on Monday.

This means CAS has the power to the rule on the matter and will go ahead to give its verdict on 17 July.

There are two things likely to happen - CAS to throw out the case and allow the status quo to remain or order for a re-run of the election if it was deemed the plaintiff was unfairly disqualified from the race.

The ruling from CAS will put to rest months of intense anxiety involving all the principal actors.

Osei, popularly known as Palmer, paid 22,000 Swiss Francs to CAS early this year on behalf of the GFA for his disqualification from federation's presidential elections appeal case to be heard.

The GFA refused to pay 22,000 Euros so per the rules, Palmer decided to pay both so that the hearing can go ahead which means he has now paid 44, 000 Euros which is $48,000.

Some media outfits believed to have received leaks from the GFA that Palmer might not be able to pay the amount which would have ended the litigation that challenges the legitimacy current leader of the federation Okraku.

However, CAS confirmed days later that it has received the full payment to allow it to form a panel to hear the case against the GFA over the decision to stop Palmer from contesting the election.

The feuding parties - the Ghana Football Association and aspirant Wilfred Osei Kwaku have named their respective arbitrators setting the tone for the adjudication of the matter.

While the association has gone for Swiss lawyer Hendrik Willem Kesler supported by Naa Odorfoley populalry known as 'Naa Gucci', Osei Kwaku has hired highly-rated Australian John Didulica with backing from Thaddeus Sory.


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