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Sports News of Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Source: goal.com

GFA shows mercy to Kotoko

Asante Kotoko's punishment to play five Ghana Premier League home matches behind closed doors due to hooliganism has been reduced to three games.

Having already honoured one match without their fans, the Porcupine Warriors now have two more games to complete the punishment.

Kotoko were charged on four charges of misconduct for fan trouble during a matchday three home fixture against Berekum Chelsea at Kumasi's Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

"The GFA Disciplinary Committee has ruled that Asante Kotoko shall play three home matches behind closed doors at the Baba Yara Stadium and pay a fine of GHc20,000 (€3,182) in relation to unsporting behaviour by supporters of the Club during their Matchday 3 encounter against Berekum Chelsea," the Ghana Football Association announced on their official website on Tuesday.

"This decision was taken after the Disciplinary Committee received Asante Kotoko’s reply to the charge sheet sent by the Prosecutor.

"While Asante Kotoko accepted guilt for the conduct of their supporters, the Club pleaded for mitigation based on which the Disciplinary Committee empanelled five members to hear the case."

Reports indicate violence first broke after Kotoko centre-back Empem Dacosta was sent off for a second bookable offence. The Porcupine Warriors protested the second yellow card, insisting the foul was instead committed by midfielder Kwame Adom.

Angry fans hurled missiles onto the pitch, bringing the match to a halt for some time. After the game, the clash continued between Kotoko fans and the police.

"The Club’s plea for mitigation and their efforts to identify and punish anyone found culpable in the acts that occurred at the stadium on the said date was also considered by the Panel," the statement continued.

It also said, "The monetary fine for the Club has been increased from GHc10,000.00 (€1,591) to GHc20,000.00 (€3,182) which must be paid to the GFA within 7 working days from the receipt of this decision.

"Asante Kotoko must provide evidence that it has identified and punished all who were found culpable in the events of the day within 21 days failure of which any future decision by the Disciplinary Committee will consider the Club’s inability to discipline their fans as stated in their reply to these charges."

Kotoko, who lost 1-0 to Chelsea on the day, played behind closed doors in Sunday's matchday five home fixture against Ebusua Dwarfs.

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