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SportsGhana Sports Monograph

December 13, 20180

Bobby Banson
Kwame Appiah Oduro
This monograph is up-to-date as of Month and year
The Authors
The Authors
Bobby Banson Esq, MCIArb
Bobby Banson has been described as a very dynamic and result oriented legal practitioner. Having learnt his trade from well-established Practitioners from Bentsi Enchil,Lesta & Ankomah (Accra), Dadson & Associates (Kumasi) and Minkah-Premo & Co (Accra), he has gained experiences in wide areas of legal practice including Corporate, Investment, Real Estate, Sports and Dispute Resolution.
A product of Adisadel College, Mr. Banson furthered had his education at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology for his LLB before proceeding to the Ghana School of Law in Accra for his BL where he graduated as the best student in the law of Taxation.
He is the Founding Partner of Robert Smith & Adelaide Law, which is a boutique law firm located in Central Business District of Accra, Ghana. He heads the firm’s practice areas focusing on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Investment Advice and Corporate Governance.
He has provided legal services to several multinational Companies doing business across the sub region.
He has extensively written in the field of commercial law and litigation.
Kwame Appiah Oduro
Kwame Appiah Oduro attended Mfantsipim school, Mr. Oduro then proceeded to study Political Science and Economics at the University of Ghana Legon, after completion moved into the area of entrepreneurship to set up a company.
After some years, He decided to go ahead and pursue his long awaited dream of becoming a legal practitioner and as such enrolled in the University of London Laws Degree programme where he obtained his LLB. He has had the opportunity to serve on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government as well as the Parliamentary Adhoc Committee that was setup to investigate the outcome of the district assembly elections.
Kwame has interest in Commercial Transactions, Commercial Litigation as well as Ghanaian Sports law and has done various researches in these areas. He is currently working with Smith & Adelaide law a well established and renowned law firm in Ghana.
Aintoinette Winnie Essilfie, Esq
Antoinette is currently an associate at Smith & Adelaide Law, a boutique Law firm in Ghana where she specializes in dispute resolution, Corporate and Commercial law. She previously worked with N.Dowuona & Company where she gained vast experience in areas of Corporate and Commercial Transactions. She has been involved in the incorporation and liquidation of various domestic and international companies and has advised on several legal issues ranging from corporate and commercial law, conflict of laws and energy matters in Ghana.
She has an LL.B from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology where she was selected as a representative for the University in the All African Moot Court Competition in 2013, South Africa. She was called to the Bar in Ghana in 2016 and has a certificate from the Leitner Centre in Fordham University on Human Rights during their summer course in Ghana in 2014. She has a keen interest in the research on Laws relating to Sports in Ghana and the development of a better legal framework to govern the sector. She is adept in communication, research and inter-personal relations.
Antoinette is a Product of the Holy Child School and a member of the Ghana Bar Association.
Jedidiah Y Williams
Jedidiah Y Williams has in recent times developed interest in the area of Sports law with the vision to research into areas that can best help promote and advance the course of sports in Ghana. He also has interest in Commercial/Trade law, Transport law, securities and International Arbitration.
Jedidiah gained admission to the University of Ghana in 2007 to read Political Science with Psychology. With the desire for greater heights and inner satisfaction, Jedidiah resolved to pursue a degree in law. He applied to read law at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in 2013, where he graduated with First Class Honours in the LLB in the year 2016. While in UCC, he received the Summa Cum Laude Track Award in the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 academic years.
In 2016, Jedidiah applied to the Ghana School of Law, to read the professional law program where he successfully passed through. He is currently with Smith & Adelaide Law, a boutique law firm in Accra.
Ama Asare Korang, Esq
Ama is an associate lawyer of the private law firm, Smith and Adelaide Law. She has carved a commendable practice experience in the areas of corporate and commercial transactions, entertainment, media and sports law, intellectual property law and litigation. Her work experience ranges from advising international clients on the legal aspects and the risks in investing in Ghana as well as advising creatives on their intellectual property rights and contractual rights.
Prior to joining Smith and Adelaide Law, Ama trained as a pupil with the law firm, Kulendi@Law in Ghana, where she gained considerable experience in litigation and alternative dispute resolution.
A member of the international sports association, Woman in Sports Law (WISLaw), Ama is keen on the development of sports law in Ghana and aspires to develop her practice towards developing the involvement of women in the sports law sector of Ghana.
Ama is a member of the Ghana Bar Association. She holds a Postgraduate Degree in Law (LLB) from the University of Ghana and a Qualifying Certificate from the Ghana School of Law. Ama also holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in History from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
Adwoa E. O. Paintsil
Adwoa E. O. Paintsil is an intern of Smith and Adelaide Law, a reputable firm in Ghana. Her interest lies in Sports law, commercial law and Intellectual Property law.
Adwoa holds a Bachelor’s degree in law and is currently enrolled in the Ghana School of Law.
Beatrice Darko
she enrolled at the Ghana Institute of management and Public Administration where she read law. Having successfully gained her postgraduate Degree in Law (LLB)she was further admitted into the Ghana School of Law to undertake a professional law course.
She is currently an intern at Smith and Adelaide where she hopes to gain some experience in law practice to enable her become the successful lawyer she has always dreamt of becoming.
List of Abbreviations
List of Abbreviations
List of Abbreviations
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Confederation of African Football
Court of Arbitration for Sports
Customs Excise and Preventive services
Constitutional Instrument
Commonwealth Games Association
Commonwealth Games Federation
Commission on Human Rights and Administration Justice
European Economic Area
Ghana Football Association
Ghana National Petroleum Commission
Ghana Olympic Committee
Ghana University Sports Association
Ghana League Clubs Association
International Association of Athletics Federation
International Transfer Certificate
International Olympic Committee
National Sports Authority
National Sports College
National Labour Commission
NYA National Youth Authority
National Anti- Doping Organization
Professional Footballers Association of Ghana
Regional Anti- Doping Organization
Supreme Military Council Decree
Social Security and National Insurance Trust
World Anti- Doping Agency
West African Football Union
General Introduction
Chapter 1. General Background
General Introduction, Ch. General Background
General Introduction, Ch. General Background
1 1. In Ghana, even though in the past there have been a whole Ministry dedicated to sports, it is without doubt that government’s involvement and dedication has been on the minimal. Sports Organizations and Associations have been mostly autonomous. Consistent pressures from people in active sports which include sports journalists, have seen government in recent years restructuring the sports sector and implementing a new law passed by the parliament of Ghana aimed at bringing development into sports.
2 2. Sports in Ghana can be traced back even before the country gained independence, in 1903 where a group of 22 pupils of Cape Coast Government Boys School embarked upon a secret training course in footballing, the young lads trained mostly in the night, when the full moon was on at the Victoria Park, then, a well- kept place for official ceremonies. Impressed by their own progress the group of soccer pioneers arranged and ordered some equipment jerseys. The first footballs used by the pioneers were gifts from friendly sailors who docked regularly at Cape Coast Port. Most of the sailors who landed ashore were keen sportsmen and played games regularly with the Governor of the country and the many European civil servants who were in the capital. The happy band of soccer adventurers who called themselves Excelsior continued with their secret training and after three months planned a grand out-dooring ceremony at the Victoria Park on Boxing Day December 26. Cape Coast Victoria Park was lined and marked, goal posts were fixed and the first football pitch in Ghana was thus created. In the presence of top government officials, the first two teams from the first football clubs of the country merged to introduce the game to the country. Although the match was played without any set rules the excited crowd cheered throughout and thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they watched 22 youngsters running around and kicking a globular object. It was a memorable occasion that was graced with the presence of the then Governor Sir Frederic Hodgson, himself a keen sportsman. It wasn’t long that the soccer fever caught up with others in various regions in the country. This later influenced the forming of the first football club in the country. Later on, other football clubs sprouted up. Gold Coast further went on and participated in the 1952 Summer Olympics.
Chapter 2. Sources of Sports Law
General Introduction, Ch. 2, Sources of Sports Law
General Introduction, Ch. 2, Sources of Sports Law
3 3. The National Sports Authority previously the National Sports Council was established in 1976 by the sports decree (SMCD 54) 1976. The council was established with the core responsibility of initiating and executing policies, programs and projects to ensure the development and promotion of Sports in Ghana, whether or not the council established previously lived up to its expectations is what can be debated. There is a Ministry of Youth and Sports which was formed in 1957 and ever since then, there has been restructuring under various governments towards the various policies of the particular government of the day.
4 4. The Ministry of Youth and Sports has since the first Republic, undergone several changes in its structure and functions to reflect the policy directions of the incumbent Government. In 1978 the Ministry was re-designed for only sports, headed by a Commissioner for Sports, who was directly responsible to the then Head of State of the Republic. In the year 2005, the Ministry was merged with the Ministry of Education to form the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. A year later the Youth and Sports segment of this Ministry were separated. The Sports segment was combined with Education and Science to form the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports whilst the Youth segment was merged with Employment and Manpower Planning to form the Ministry of Employment, Youth and Manpower Planning. The Government in January 2009, decided to re-establish the Ministry to represent an emergent trend, among countries worldwide, particularly in the Commonwealth Nations, which acknowledges the inherent advantages in the natural affinity between Youth and Sports as an instrument for national development. The Ministry as it stands now implements its goals and objectives through the following Agencies and Institutions: The National Sports Authority (NSA), The National Youth Authority (NYA) and The National Sports College (NSC, Winneba).
5 5. The National Sports Authority is the agency with which the government through the Sports Ministry undertakes its policies in sports.
6 6. With the establishment of various sporting activities in the country, it is an obvious fact that there was the need for the implementation of governing laws that will help regulate these sporting activities. This in actual fact was needed so as to bring forth and maintain some order in the various sporting disciplines identified in the country. It is in relation to this that, the sports decree (SMCD 54) 1976 was passed in order to help bring into action these measures.
7 7. Sports law and sports as a whole in Ghana has not developed the way it should have and this is due to the fact that successive governments have failed to put in the needed capital requirement expected in the sports sector. This has had a negative impact on the sports sector. Laws in respect to contract, employment, taxes and others identified under the laws of the country generally applies to everyone residing in the jurisdiction. However, specific laws in the area of sports are needed to tackle specific situations in the sports sector within the country. Unlike in the United Kingdom and other European countries who have developed in this area of law, sports law related litigation in Ghana is marginal. In the last few years however you will find a considerable number of lawyers gradually moving towards and showing interest in this area of law. Since this is a grey area in Ghana there is an obvious need to put up measures to improve upon it. In the past, there have been instances whereby players who have entered into contracts with their clubs have been cheated subject to the terms and conditions of the contract. What this means is that if the laws are improved it will help develop commercial transactions, the rights of sportsmen and women will also be addressed.
8 8. It is obvious that there is a new era in sports law that needs to be recognized and particular attention needs to be taken to help broaden and establish this area of law.
9 9. Globally, there is evidence that sporting activities are increasingly developing. Sporting activities have been commercialized and there is no doubt that in Ghana we do not meet the same standards as compared to that of the United Kingdom and other developed countries. Consequently, there is the need for laws to be implemented to help in the regulation of sporting activities especially as a result of the increase in the nature of criminal cases in sports such as hooliganism and so on.
Part 1. Organization of Sport
Chapter 1. Sports Governance
Part I, Ch. 1, Sports Governance
Part I, Ch. 1, Sports Governance
10 10. As a result of the increase in some discrepancies in the sports sector and a series of reported cases on attacks as well as consistent cases of hooliganism, there were high demands for the passage of a new law into force which will help regulate and structure the nature and ways in which sporting activities in Ghana are regulated. It is in this respect that the Sports Act 2016 was to be passed in order to help improve upon the old law, which gave room to irregularities in the area of sports law. Comparatively, in developed countries for example, there are reported cases in criminal and civil law where a player can sue for damages due to violent behaviors against another. In Ghana such cases are almost nonexistent.
11 11. The development in sports law in a country like the United Kingdom has resulted in convictions of assault offences, for example fights that occur in places which are adjacent to the stadium or even those that occur at the side of the pitch. In Ghana, this has not been the case. There are quite a number of reported cases where fans of various clubs have been involved in fights. Nonetheless, there have been no convictions of any persons engaged in these acts. There is a famous incident which made international headlines where a football match between Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko did not end up well leading to the death of about 127 fans, one of the highly rated disasters to have occurred in sports. Till now, no one has been prosecuted for that particular incident. In countries where sports law is well developed, incidents that take place off and on the pitch are investigated and prosecuted when wrongdoing is established. In Ghana, it is difficult to have sports professionals seeking redress at the court for an offence that may have occurred whiles engaging in their sporting profession.
12 12. There are various laws in Ghana that deal with specific offences, for example the criminal offences act deals with cases of assault. However, in relation to sports in Ghana there is the unlikelihood to find a player who will be willing to prosecute another opponent of an offence against them. The likely position on that will be when the incident is reported to the Disciplinary Committee or the Ethics Committee of a particular Sports Associations for it to take the necessary action on the incident and place a sanction if found guilty.
13 13. In the case of Ghana Football Association vrs Asante Kotoko SC, Asante Kotoko was charged for a breach of Article 35(3b) and 35(4) of the GFA General Regulations and Article 66(2&3) of the GFA Disciplinary code in respect of the match. In this case after a match between Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak SC, played on 19th March 2017, the supporters of the defendant club were purported to have thrown missiles onto the field which held the match officials’ hostage on the field for some minutes in violation of the GFA Regulations. Asante Kotoko pleaded not guilty to the charge, waived the club’s right for personal hearing and sent a statement of defense to the Committee to respond to the charge. The Committee went further to examine depositions on the Charge sheet, the statement of defense, the video of the match and the reports of the match officials.
14 14. The Committee held that, it was very clear that the regulations did not allow supporters to insult, manhandle match officials or impede them in any way on their way to the dressing room. “It must also be noted that an attempt to misconduct oneself at a match is also punishable under the regulations”. Being held hostage in football is also very clear to all. Any action or conduct that prevents the match official from his or her normal movement is termed hostage. The evidence is very clear from the video that throwing of the missiles caused the security personnel on duty to halt the movement of the match officials towards the dressing room until the security gave the signal that all was clear later.
15 15. The committee recognizes the fact that Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak SC commands the largest supporters in the country. It must also be noted that matches between the two sides is classified as category “A” match and rated above all other clubs’ matches. There is no denying the fact, the two clubs are the most glamorous in the country and many of the clubs look up to them as pace setters. It is against this background and the May 9 disaster that this Committee was alarmed by the actions of the supporters on that day thereby advising against such misconduct which might pave the way for other clubs repeating same to the detriment of supporters on the field, the industry and the entire citizenry.
16 16. The committee clarified once again in respect of Article 35(3) (b) of the GFA General Regulations that throwing a sachet water onto the field of play, shall not attract the same punishment as throwing of an uncountable number of missiles. The Committee wishes to state that there are structures within the GFA which deal with allegations of bad officiating by a match official. An aggrieved party may send a Complaint to the match review committee established under Article 59(3) of the GFA statutes. The aggrieved party may also in the case of misconduct by a match official, send a Complaint to the GFA Prosecutor appointed under article 39 of the GFA Statutes. An aggrieved club may also send a complaint to the Referees Committee under article 64 which has the duty to recommend the suspension or removal from the referees list of referees found to be incompetent or guilty of serious misconduct per article 64(6) of the GFA Statutes.
17 17. The Disciplinary Committee was satisfied with the evidence before it on the charge that the conduct of Asante Kotoko amounted to a breach of regulations and accordingly applied the necessary sanctions against the club.
In particular, the Disciplinary Committee made the following decisions:
I. a. On charge 1, the Committee having satisfied itself that the evidence adduced before it supports the charge against the club, the Committee hereby imposes a fine of Five Thousand Ghana Cedis on Asante Kotoko SC in accordance with the GFA General Regulations,
b. That the amount of Five Thousand Ghana Cedis shall be payable by Asante Kotoko SC to the GFA within 14 days upon receipt of this ruling, failing which Asante Kotoko SC shall forfeit the club’s matches after the said deadline in accordance with articles 39(8)(b) and 39(8)(d) of the first amendment to the GFA General Regulations.
II. That Asante Kotoko SC and its supporters are hereby further warned to be of good behavior and that should the club be found guilty of any misconduct charges; the Disciplinary Committee shall apply a more severe sanction against the club.
III. That should any party be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this decision, the party has within three days of being notified of this ruling to appeal to the Appeals Committee (article 37(11) of the General Regulations of the GFA.
18 18. The various Sports Associations like the Ghana Rugby Association, Ghana Boxing Association, Ghana Football Association etc, all owe a duty of care to the various players licensed under them, however rarely will you see a player taking them on with respect to a breach of duty of care.
19 19. Ticket racketeering is criminal under the laws of Ghana, section 16 of the criminal offences act states that for the purposes of any provision of this Code by which any forgery, falsification, or other unlawful act is punishable if used or done with intent to defraud, an intent to defraud means an intent to cause, by means of such forgery, falsification, or other unlawful act, any gain capable of being measured in money, or the possibility of any such gain, to any person at the expense or to the loss of any other person. It is a fact that certain individuals for example during football matches take advantage of security breaches in the system to print and sell football match tickets to football fans, as it stands there are measures that have been put in place so as to rectify these breaches, however if one is apprehended in relation to such a crime, they could be prosecuted under the criminal offences act. This criminal act has rocketed in the domestic premiership in recent times; two persons were imprisoned for 18 months in a town called Sunyani due to this same act. Recently in a match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Great Olympics football club a suspect was arrested indulging in the criminal act of ticket racketeering.
§1. Corruption
20 20. Corruption in sports is a worldwide problem and Ghana is no exemption. There is a 2014 incident of corruption when the Ghana Black Stars, the senior men’s soccer team participated in the 2014 world cup competition. When the team was eliminated, there were concerns of alleged corruption allegations. The government setup a Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the participation of the Black Stars Team in that tournament. The Commission investigated the matter and then presented a 400-page report to the president. The report was subsequently analyzed by the government who came up with their recommendations called the “White Paper”. The Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the participation of the Black Stars Team in the World Cup Tournament in Brazil 2014, hereafter referred to as “the Commission”, was set up under C.I. 82 of 2014, with the period of completion of its assignment extended under C.I. 83 and C.I. 84, both of 2014. The terms of reference of the Commission as stated in section 5 of C.I. 82 were as follows:
A. To inquire into matters relating to:
i. The preparation of the Ghana Black Stars Team for the tournament and possible lapses which might have caused the early exit of the team from the tournament.
ii. The management of the Ghana Black Stars Team and events in their camp during the tournament.
iii. Ghana’s treatment of Ghanaian football fans who were sent to support the Black Stars by the Ministry of Youth and Sports;
B. To advise the Government on the financing of the activities of the senior national team and other national teams.
C. To inquire into all other matters of public interest concerning the organization of Ghana’s Black Stars participation in the Tournament;
D. To make recommendations to the Government for ensuring that, as far as practicable all the findings are implemented.
After the investigations, there were some findings and revelations some of which is stated below.
a. The state directly employed public and state funds to airlift, accommodate and feed supporters, there was no transparency in the selection on the premise of the various supporters’ groups.
b. Caterers were engaged by the government to feed supporters.
c. There were misappropriation/misapplication of the funds given by GNPC to Evolution International on behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
d. There was a total amount of Gh¢13,757.00 paid to Corsel a private company who on the other hand did not provide any service to the Ghana Football Association.
e. Some organizations and individuals leveraged on the brand of the National Teams through sponsorship to generate income and made no account for the income generated.
f. Sponsorship money was not fully accounted for.
g. The GFA as managers of the national teams for and on behalf of the people of the Republic of Ghana, who fund the national teams, did not make a full declaration of the details of funding and expenditures incurred during friendly matches.
h. The claim that the amount of US$350,000.00 received from the Japan match which was not accounted for, was used to offset the deficit incurred in the Ghana v Cape Verde friendly match.
i. No precise record of how the GFA applied the FIFA World Cup preparation money of US$1.5m and the US$2m they received from GNPC before the World Cup vis à vis match agent funding of the friendly matches to the World Cup 2014 creating room for doubt of double funding, misapplication or misappropriation of funds.
j. There was an expenditure of GHC189,000.00 which could not be accounted for.
l. Cash meant to pay for the remuneration of national team was airlifted to Brazil which ended up ridiculing the nation in the international front.
m. The amount of GH¢15,000.00 reported as spent on third party vouchers from transport companies was not properly accounted for.
n. The unwillingness of GFA to account fully for the State funds monies of US$577,500.00 that was requested for, to pay appearance fees to officials of the Black Stars management as budgeted for and approved.
The Brazil Fifa World Cup 2014 corruption scandal contributed immensely to the fallout of many Ghanaian football fans who up until now have not fully recovered from this particular scandal. The evidence is that, after that competition the support base during matches on the home soil has drastically reduced, also on media platforms there are a lot of criticisms sometimes with awful comments directed to either some of the players or members of the football body who were part of that tournament. As to whether this also contributed to the team’s inability to qualify for the next competition to be held in Russia after 3 consecutive successful qualifications is still a debatable topic.
Ace journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team in his recent investigative exposé on corruption in football in Ghana dubbed “#12 Exposé” which was premiered on the 6th of June 2018 captures some officials of the football governing body engaged in corrupt acts such as the collection of bribes to influence the game. The video captures 77 Ghanaian referees who allegedly took bribes to influence their decision in football matches, 14 officials of the Ghana Football Association captured on the video taking various sums of money to engage in match fixing, some big shots in Ghana football are also seen negotiating deals to influence the outcome of games of football. The most shocking and most talked about is that of the Ghana Football Association(GFA) President Kwesi Nyantakyi who is also captured in the video taking some amounts of money as bribe and advising on how they could engage in some practices identified as corrupt to influence the game of football in Ghana.
Currently the government in conjunction with FIFA has put on hold all activities involving football. Kwesi Nyantakyi has also resigned as the GFA president and an interim committee made up of 5 members has been setup by the government to run the affairs of football until the necessary measures are put in place to help in the restructuring.
§2. Governmental Institutions and Bodies
21 21. To what extent should the law be allowed to regulate human dealings? The rationale behind this question is the recognition that in the absence of prescribed rules and regulations, man is likely to act in a manner inimical to that of his fellow man. Simply put, a survival of the strongest; a dog-eat-dog system devoid of reason and sanity, which exists in the absence of law and order. Owing to the near certainty that man would give in to his baser instincts without law, the question does not seek to determine whether the law should regulate human conduct in any matter but rather how much of the law should impact our lives. This question is even more important in the sports world where the nature of most sports is such that the absence of physical human contact is almost impossible. The question gains more relevance as one considers and recognizes the competitive characteristic of sports in general.
22 22. Moving forward, this chapter proceeds to deal with the question, “How far should the law go in the regulation of sporting activities?” In addressing the question, the author will assess the relationship between the framework for sports laws in Ghana and the protection of human rights; the effects of Government permits and conditions on sports in Ghana; criminal and civil liability; and the intricacies of sports justice.
23 23. Under Chapter six of the Constitution of Ghana, the State is obliged to ensure that adequate facilities for sports are provided throughout the country. In addition, the State is mandated to provide facilities that promote sports in order to foster and encourage both national integration and international amity among others.
The State in furtherance of this, passed the Sports Act 2016, Act 934. The Minister for Sports may, under the Act, make Regulations to inter alia;
a. Provide for licenses in respect of matters relating to sports;
b. Prescribe for compliance by national sports associations to the Statutes, Charters, constitutions, Regulations, Rules or Bye-laws of the respective International Federations;
c. Provide for the registration of sports associations
d. Prescribe standards for the establishment and operation of sporting facilities and academies.
Thus far, there are no clear regulations on sports under the current Act, however there are Regulations under the former Sports Act 1976 (SMCD 54) which by Section 31 of the new Sports Act 2016, Act 934, continue to remain in custody. The following conditions may be gleaned from the Sports Regulations 2011, LI 1988:
a. A sports association shall apply to be registered by the National Sports Authority.
b. The association so registered is mandated to have a constitution that is in conformity with the rules of the international federation or organization of the particular sport.
i. Ministry of Youth and Sports
24 The Ministry derives its broad functions from section 13 of PNDCL 327 of 1993 which states, inter alia that it shall:
a. Initiate and formulate policies, taking into account the needs and aspirations of the people.
b. Undertake development planning in consultation with the National Development Planning Commission.
c. Co-ordinate, monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the performance of the sector.
In furtherance of the above, the Ministry:
1. Monitors and evaluates the programs of four main statutory institutions which subsist on subventions and for which it has administrative responsibility. These institutions are:
a. The National Sports Authority (NSA),
b. The National Youth Authority (NYA),
c. The National Sports College (NSC, Winneba).
2. Plans and programs all inputs for sector operations, and analyses and co-ordinates all planned programs.
3. Ensure the application of standards and rules consistent with the generally accepted patterns of Public Administration System.
4. Promotes the development and maintenance of appropriate structures for promoting efficiency and effectiveness of sector activities.
i. National Sports Authority
25 This is the umbrella organization under which the various Sports Associations operate for example the Ghana Boxing Association, Ghana Football Association, Ghana Rugby Association, Ghana Hockey Association etc. It is responsible for initiating and executing policies, programs and projects to ensure the development and promotion of Sports in Ghana. It is in existence to develop, organize and manage competitive and social sports with the view to promoting health- fitness, recreation, national cohesion and professionalism that ensures sustainable wealth creation, vigorous infrastructure development proactive management and participating in international sporting competitions.
ii. The National Sports College (NSC)
26 It was established by the erstwhile PNDC Government 1984 under S.M.C Decree No. 54, 1976. At the time of its establishment, Ghana’s performance in sports at the international level was experiencing a downward slide as a result of the exodus of the sectors technical and human resource for greener pastures. The College accordingly was charged with the responsibility of training and re-training the country’s technical and human resource in the Sports sector to fill the vacancies created by the exodus of our trained and skilled officials to sustain the development and promotion of Sports in Ghana.
iii. Parliamentary Select Committee on Sports and culture
27 The parliamentary select committee on sports has been setup to investigate issues and bills (proposed laws) in detail, so that Parliament can be well-informed before making decisions of national significance. The Committee also has the oversight responsibility in monitoring the other sporting bodies and putting them into checks. The Committee can call upon the various institutions for questioning on decisions they might have taken which Parliament thinks needs clarification.
§3. National Olympic Committee
28 24. The Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) was established by the Olympic Charter in 1951 and is an incorporated non-profit making organization registered in Ghana.
29 25. The highest decision- making authority of the GOC is the General Assembly, which convenes as a Congress every year, and elects a governing Board quadrennially, normally at the Congress that takes place after the Summer Olympic Games.
30 26. The day-to-day administration of the GOC is delegated by the Board to other President and the members of the Executive Committee. The GOC is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the National Olympic Committee of Ghana, and by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) as the Commonwealth Games Association (CGA).
31 27. The mission of the Ghana Olympic Committee is to develop and protect the Olympic Movement in Ghana, and to promote the ideals of the Commonwealth Games in accordance with the Olympic Charter and the Constitution of the CGF. To fulfill this mandate, the GOC cooperates with both governmental and non-governmental bodies. The GOC propagates the aims and ideas of the Olympic Movement and seeks to use sports to improve the quality of the life of the people of Ghana.
32 28. The GOC uses the facilities of the Olympic Solidarity Movement to award scholarships to Ghanaian sports men and women; provide financial support to selected associations; and provide courses to sports coaches and administrators. The GOC also seeks to organize fundraising activities to augment the support from Olympic Solidarity.
Chapter 2 Public Regulation
Part I, Ch. 2, Public Regulation
Part I, Ch. 2, Public Regulation
§1. Sports Associations
33 The individual’s right to engage in sports shall be discussed under the following:
– The individual’s Right of Association,
– Personality Rights.
Freedom of Association
34 29. Article 21 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana guarantees the individual’s freedom of association. This freedom is inclusive of the right and freedom to form or join associations for any purpose as long as such purpose is within the confines of the law. An individual may thus form a sports association in exercise of this right.
35 30. This is affirmed by Regulation one (1) of the Sports Regulations 2011, LI 1988 which reads, “A person may form or join a sports association either as an amateur or as a professional…” The regulations fail to define who an amateur or professional is with regards to sports. The Ghana Football Association General Regulations defines a professional player as a player who has a written contract with a club and is paid more for his footballing activity than the expenses he effectively incurs; all other players are amateurs. This definition though, is exclusive to the Ghana Football Association. However, in consideration of the rules of interpretation as enunciated in the Ghanaian case of BINEY v BINEY, words are to be given their ordinary and natural meaning unless an absurdity occurs. Thus the meaning to be ascribed to the term amateur or professional shall be made with reference to the Oxford English dictionary. An amateur player per the Oxford Dictionary is a person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, on an unpaid basis. This may be contrasted with a professional player who is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a person engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation. Other sports associations in Ghana include, the Ghana Football Association, the Ghana Cricket Association, the Ghana Judo Association, the Amateur Basket Ball Association of Ghana, the Handball Association of Ghana, the Ghana Karate Do Association and the Ghana University Sports Association just to mention a few.
Personality Rights
36 31. It is no secret that persons who engage in sporting activities gain some fame and popularity whether at the local or international level. With this, comes the attainment of personality rights. Personality rights broadly speaking are those rights that protect well-known personalities or celebrities from the unlawful use of their name, image, signature or persona. The right is negative in nature and comprises the individual’s right of Publicity and Privacy. The individual’s right of publicity gives him or her the right to keep his image and likeness from unauthorized commercial exploitation while the right of privacy grants the individual the right to keep their lives out of public scrutiny regardless of the fact that he or she may be a national icon.
37 32. Ideally, these rights should be protected as an extension of the individual. This is in accordance with John Locke’s, assertion on natural rights – John Locke believed persons had the natural right of property in their bodies such that they possessed ownership rights over the labor of their bodies and by extension over the fruits of their labor. Accordingly, then athletes would have the right to protect the fruits of their labor, which include fame and its resulting privileges.
38 33. In practice however, few countries have recognized this right, the lead country being the United States of America. Sadly, this has made it common in most countries for freelance and entertainment, media writers and photographers (the paparazzi) to get away with divulging private and confidential information of individuals tagged as celebrities. Recently, an alleged sex-tape of Tottenham footballer Dele Ali was leaked online in defiance of his right to privacy and confidentiality. On the other side of the hemisphere, matters of the divorce of Ghanaian sports personality Odartey Lamptey made headlines. While the case was ongoing, the media constantly reported and discussed it even though the practice in Ghanaian courts is to hold such proceedings in private. Until effective measures are put in place to protect personality rights, such clear violations of the individual’s right of privacy in the name of journalism, will continue to rise.
39 34. It may also be argued that the right of publicity is similarly left unregulated. In an interview with The Finder, a Ghanaian newspaper, Mr. Augustine Arhinful, former Black Stars player and member of the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana (PFAG), a welfare body of footballers in Ghana, noted that endorsement deals had become the major source of income for athletes worldwide. The interview mentioned that investigations by The Finder newspaper revealed that Ghanaian sports personalities: Michael Essien and Asamoah Gyan, earned approximately $300,000 and GH¢ 130,000 annually endorsing MTN and GLO respectively. Sadly, owing to the lack of proactive laws it would be much harder to protect these rights in Ghana as compared to the United States of America. As endorsement deals directly with image rights, they, as a matter of practice and principle, come under the direct right of publicity. However, these rights remain unprotected in many countries putting the individual’s right to earn income at risk of infringement and grave abuse.
As indicated above, the various Sports Associations have been placed under the National Sports Authority.
i. Ghana Football Association(GFA)
40 It has the oversight responsibility of managing football in Ghana. The Association is supposed to be committed to the principles of good governance, rule of law and transparency.
To develop, promote, control and regulate the sport of association football in all its forms played by its members throughout the country.
ii. Ghana Boxing Association
41 The Association is the governing body which has been setup with the responsibility of managing and promoting boxing in the Country. It is to develop, promote and encourage every area of the sports in relation to boxing in the country.
iii. Ghana Hockey Association
42 The Association is the governing body of Field Hockey in Ghana. It is affiliated to IHF International Hockey Federation and AHF African Hockey Federation. The headquarters of the Association is in Accra, Ghana. It has the oversight responsibility of seeing to the management of hockey games and promotion in Ghana.
iv. Ghana Basketball Association
43 The Basketball Association is the governing body of the game of Basketball in Ghana. It is the body responsible for the organization and promotion of Basketball in the country, the Association is supposed to be the body which manages and regulates everything related to Basketball at the national level.
v. Ghana University Sports Association(GUSA)
44 This is an Association which was formed to help facilitate and implement government policy on sports and recreation at the university level.
§2. Governmental Conditions and Permits
45 35. By virtue of the fundamental human rights guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, persons, both natural and artificial, are entitled to engage in acts of any nature, sports inclusive, so far as they are not criminalized or proscribed under law. There are however, certain conditions set by the government for the sake of fair play and equity. These conditions may be imposed on the individual or on a sports body.
The Individual
46 36. Under Article 12(2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the rights of an individual are subject to the rights of others and to public interest. The Article reads, “Every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual contained in this Chapter but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.” Therefore, in the absence of express provisions and enactments, there is no condition to be met by an individual before engaging in any sporting activity. So long as the sporting activity is not opposed to the rights of others or to public interest, the individual is free to engage in whatsoever sporting activity he wishes to engage in.
§3. Tort Law (Liability in Sports Law)
47 37. Liability in law could either be criminal or civil. In sports, liability may lie under either one of the categories just mentioned to protect both the sportsman and the dignity of the sport involved. Such liability may be express or gleaned from the nature and scope of the act involved and the provisions for the protection of rights –civil and criminal.
Criminal Liability in Sports
48 38. Under Ghanaian law, the only express provision on criminal liability in sports arises when an individual contravenes any provision under the Regulations made under the Sports Act 2016, Act 934, in pursuance of Section 29 (2), of the said Act. Section 29(2) of the Sports Act 2016, Act 934 provides, “A person who contravenes a provision of Regulations made under this Act commits an offence and is liable to a fine of not less than five penalty units and not more than three hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than seven days and not more than twelve months or to both.”The Regulations referred to in Section 29 aforementioned, also include Regulations made under the previous Sports Act 1976, SMCD 54.
49 39. Criminal liability under sports law may also be implied under the provisions of the Criminal Offences Act 1960, Act 29. Such liability would arise should the actions of the individual engaging in the sporting activity meet the description of an offence under the Act, subject to the nature of the sport. For instance, under Section 31 (j) of the Act, the use of force may be justified where there is consent; hence where the force used is appropriate given the nature of the sport, no liability will lie. Thus in the sport of wrestling, the force used against opponents would be legally justified; this would persist for as long as it is within the rules and scope of the game, the appropriate measure of force is used and the intention of the offender is not malicious.
50 40. Currently there are no known cases concerning criminal liability in sports in Ghana. Under Article 11 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the rules of common law are applicable in so far as they are not contrary to any known domestic law. In view of this, the determination of criminal liability in Ghana shall start with a few renowned cases from other common law jurisdictions. In the Saskatchewan case of R V CEY, Cey, an ice-hockey player, was accused of assault during a game. Cey had crosschecked the victim from behind across the back of the neck, in close proximity to the boards. This resulted in the victim suffering facial injuries, a concussion and whiplash. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal held that, though the game was highly physical, there were some forms of bodily contact, which would carry with them such a high risk of injury and distinct probability of serious harm beyond the consent of the players. The Court laid out the following criteria as guide to determine whether the force used was beyond that which the players consented to or could have reasonably consented to.
a. The conditions in which the game was played;
b. The nature and circumstances of the act;
c. How much force was used;
d. The victim’s injury, and
e. The state of mind of the accused.
51 41. The English courts adopted a similar stance in the case of R V BARNES, citing R V CEY as an authority. Barnes, an amateur football player, tackled an opposing player in a match resulting to grievous injury to the latter’s right leg. He was charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm, contrary to the Offences against the Person Act 1861, and on the basis that the tackle was crushing, late, unnecessary, reckless and high. Barnes was convicted and appealed against the conviction. The Court on appeal held, “…most organised sports had their own disciplinary procedures for enforcing their particular rules and standards of conduct and therefore, in the majority of situations, there was no need for…any criminal proceedings when a player injured another player in the course of a sporting event…criminal proceedings should only be brought in such a situation if a player’s conduct was sufficiently grave to be properly categorised as criminal; that, if criminal proceedings were justified, the consent of the victim to the possibility of injury would only be a defence if what had occurred had not gone beyond what a player could reasonably be regarded as having accepted by taking part in the sport…” The Court in Barnes outlined a similar set of criteria in comparison to R V CEY in determining the limits of consent in sports, namely;
i. The type of sport
ii. The level at which it was played,
iii. The nature of the act,
iv. The degree of force used,
v. The extent of the risk of injury;
vi. The defendant’s state of mind and
vii. Whether the contact was so obviously late and/or violent that it could not be regarded as an instinctive reaction, error or misjudgment in the heat of the game
52 42. Criminal liability in such cases is relative and varies from sport to sport. What is permissible under the rules of one sport may be disallowed by the rules of another. The use of objective criteria as mentioned in the preceding paragraphs is thus more relevant now in the face of the expansion of the world of sports. As said by Lord Woolf LCJ, “…What is implicitly accepted in one sport will not necessarily be covered by the defence in another sport…”
Civil Liability in Sports
53 43. Civil liability in sports has been argued as an effective means of seeking compensation for injuries incurred during sporting activities both in amateur and professional sports. Although in Ghana, there are no known contenders for the application of civil liability for sports law, it is evident from case law – though sparse, that the Ghanaian legal system acknowledges the use of civil law to address matters arising out of sports law. As Gary Jahn contends that, “…Tort law is the best way to deter violent conduct among athletes and provide them an adequate remedy for their injuries. Tort law imposes financial liability on the athlete … and this will hit him where it hurts most – in his pocket…”
54 44. In the words of Stephen J. Gulotta, Jr, “…The civil forum appears to provide a fair and potentially effective means of dealing with the problem of violence in professional team sports…”
The torts committed in respect of sports law may be intentional, more particularly battery, or in the alternative negligence.
i. Battery
55 45. In the case of battery, establishing intent can prove to be quite an arduous task. Due to the nature and scope of the sport involved, it may be difficult to prove that the act was intended to injure, and not intended to be part of the sports play. For instance, in football, a player may trip over another player’s foot; in such scenario, it may be near impossible that the offender intentionally tripped the victim considering that the nature of the game involves a lot of footwork and running which makes such incidents entirely possible by on-field accidents and miscommunications.
56 46. A football player, because of his participation, gives consent to be tackled within certain rules and this includes occasional trip-overs. Additionally, the victim has to prove that at the time of the alleged battery, he or she did not consent to the act. To prove this in the absence of a confession from the offender is nothing short of a herculean task. Nonetheless, in the Australian case of Sibley V Milutinovic, Miles CJ in his judgment stated, “…Soccer is basically a non-contact sport in that the intentional application of force by one player to the body of another player is outside the rules at least where the degree of force is likely to cause injury. In this respect there can be no question that the behavior of the Defendant in punching the Plaintiff on the jaw was outside the rules and outside the scope of the Plaintiff’s consent to degree of physical contact during the game…” By doing so, the Australian courts defined consent to the limits of the rules of permitted physical contact; thus where the contact was not permitted by the rules of the sport, an action would rightfully lie in battery. Technically speaking, an action for battery for sports law may be allowed in Ghana. This is based on the element of lack of consent which is essential to prove a battery. However, since sports is mostly contact based, the issue concerning consent could be blurred in the absence of laid down principles in Ghanaian case law. At what point, is an act considered to be beyond the confines of consent given in a peculiar sporting activity. The answer to this question may be via reference to established principles in other common law countries and especially more so since the rules of common law are applicable in Ghana by reason of the 1992 Ghanaian Constitution. The above-mentioned principles are thus worthy of emulation in the Ghanaian Courts.
ii. Negligence
57 47. The law on negligence as applied in sports law, based on Lord Atkins’ neighbor test in Donoghue v Stevenson is prima facie the same as applied in any other activity, sports being no exception to the rule. The test developed in Donoghue v. Stevenson is tripartite;
1. A duty of care must be owed to the claimant or victim as a person reasonably foreseen to be affected by the act of the offender
2. The duty so established must be breached by the offender
3. The claimant or victim must suffer some injury or damage due to the breach
58 48. A duty of care may be owed by fellow athletes, coaches, governing bodies and sports officials. This is not a lid on who may be liable for negligence. A duty of care will be established when the claimant or victim is able to prove reasonable foreseeability regardless of the relationship of the claimant with the offender.
59 49. The duty of care owed in sports law, finds its genesis in the case of condon v basi. In Condon V Basi, the plaintiff’s leg was broken as the result of a ‘foul’ sliding tackle by the defendant during a soccer match in a local league football match. The Court of Appeal, relying on Rootes V Sheldon held that a sports participant owes a duty of care to an opponent to take reasonable care in all the circumstances. This is in contrast to Blake V Galloway where the court held that there was no duty owed in the circumstances. In that case, five teenagers were throwing barks and twigs at each other in amusement, leading to the injury suffered by the claimant. The claimant then brought an action against the defendants for negligence. The Court of Appeal held that the activities of the claimant and defendants were mere horseplay, it was not a regulated sport or game played according to explicit rules, nor was it organized in any formal sense, thus no duty would lie.
60 50. The standard of care adopted as seen in other jurisdictions however seem to be slightly higher than the ordinary standard of care for negligence presumably due to the varying nature of the sports involved and the scope of permissible physical contact. The genesis of this standard of care was established in Wooldridge V Sumner, Diplock LJ stated that the appropriate standard to be adopted should be reckless disregard, though this in practice may be difficult to prove. This was affirmed more recently in the case of Caldwell V Maguire And Fitzgerald in which Holland J. stated that, “…The threshold of liability is in practice inevitably high; the breach of a duty 
will not flow from proof of no more than an error of judgment…or momentary lapse in skill … when subject to the stresses of a race….In practice it may therefore be difficult to prove any such breach of duty absent proof or conduct that in point of fact amounts to reckless disregard for the fellow contestant’s safety…”
In the absence of any express Ghanaian laws or judgments on the matter of negligence in sports, the position adopted by the English courts though of persuasive authority should serve as a guide to shaping the course of sports law in the country.
Vicarious Liability in Sports
61 51. the principle of vicarious liability as a possibility in sports law was first discussed in the case of Elliott V Saunders and Liverpool Football Club. in that case, had the claimant been able to prove breach of duty, he would have succeeded both against the offender Paul Saunders and by extension the latter’s employer, Liverpool FC. Subsequently the issue of vicarious liability was granted center stage in the case of Mccord V Cornforth and Swansea City Football Club. In McCord V Cornforth and Swansea City Football Club, Brian McCord, a footballer sued Cornforth and in extension his employers Swansea FC for foul play, which had resulted in injury to his right leg. additionally, the severity of the injuries caused to Brian McCord led to the end of his career. The High Court awarded Brian McCord with damages of £250,000 Damages against Cornforth and Swansea FC; Swansea was held to be vicariously liable for the negligent conduct of Cornforth who was in their employment.
62 52. As mentioned earlier, there is very little case law on the application of the principles under civil law to sports law. However as gleaned from the above principles established under common law and discussed in the just preceding paragraphs, it is imperative that the elements for vicarious liability in general be present. The claimant must prove firstly that the offender was employed by the Defendant and secondly that the act was committed in the course of employment. The act complained of would include acts that fall within the scope of activities incidental to the offender’s employment as well as acts permitted and authorized by his employer. Where the employer authorizes the acts, liability may still lie in spite of the fact that the acts may be performed in an authorized manner.
§4. Sports Justice
63 53. Sports Justice is defined by Roger I Abrams as, “…the product of the authoritative procedures used in the business of sports to resolve disputes and controversies”. Sports justice deals with the complementary nature of the law to the internal rules that pertain to a sport.
64 54. Often athletes resort to internal mechanisms put together by sport bodies to resolve disputes that arise. In light of this, many sport bodies have set in place internal rules and regulations to cater for liabilities and issues that may arise. For example, under the Rules and Regulations of the Basket Ball League of the University of Ghana, it is provided that a player must forfeit the on-going and next match if he physically abuses another player during the game. Again, if the attitude of the player interrupts the game during a sponsored event, the player would be surcharged 150% worth of the sponsorship cost as damages. Similarly, the Ghana Football Disciplinary Code penalizes a player or team or match official who provokes the general public during a match, a suspension for two matches and a minimum fine of GHC 5,000.00.
65 55. In the international sphere, certain rules and regulations may also exist to complement the internal mechanisms put in place by the local sports bodies. The Sports Act 2016, Act 934 recognizes this and by Section 29 states that, “The Minister may, by legislative Instrument, make Regulations…to prescribe for compliance by national sports associations to the (i) statutes, (ii) charters, (iii) constitutions, (iv) regulations, (v) rules, or (vi) by-laws of the respective international federations or organizations…” In furtherance of this, the Sports Regulations 2011 L.I 1988 which were preserved by Section 31 of the Sports Act 2016, Act 934, provides that, any national sports association that is affiliated to an international sports federation or organization shall operate under rules consistent with Statutes, Chatters; Constitutions; Regulations; rules; or bye-laws of the respective international sports federation or organization.
66 56. In spite of these provisions both in the international and local environments, there will be disputes and matters that cannot be resolved by both the local and international sports association rules and regulations. It is because of this inadequacy that the law allows athletes to seek redress through legal actions where internal mechanisms and sporting regulations do not suffice. It is for this very reason that the Court in Accra Hearts Of Oak Sporting Club V Ghana Football Association held that though Section 48 of the F.I.F.A rules, under which the Ghana Football Association operated, provided that disputes between member clubs and their association must be submitted to arbitration and not brought before a court of justice, did not operate to oust the jurisdiction. Recognizing this principle, the Court in Daniel Rockson V Ghana Football Association noted that although the Plaintiff’s case was to be dismissed for want of jurisdiction, the Plaintiff could seek redress in another court. this is because, an individual’s right to resort to the law courts could not be entirely ousted in any agreement., The Rules of the Ghana Football Authority inclusive.
67 57. In Accra Hearts Of Oak Sporting Club V. Ghana Football Association, the court while acknowledging that the internal mechanisms were useful for avoiding court action particularly over trivial matters, granted the Plaintiff’s application on the grounds that there had been a breach of natural justice. Thus, the Plaintiff obtained respite in the local court, which would have otherwise been impossible under the Ghana Football Association.
68 58. The rules of sports law still require development, on account of it being a relatively new area of law. The concept of sports justice to bridge the gap between internal dispute resolution mechanisms set by the sports bodies and the role of the law in protecting the rights and interests of individuals cannot be left unexplored. Constant development of the law in all areas is essential to a true protection of an individual’s rights.
I. Conclusion
69 59. The sad reality of sports law in Ghana lies in the dearth in Ghanaian Case law and the absence of adequate facilities for sports governance. Though this gap is seemingly cured by the application of established principles of common law, it is imperative that these principles be modified to reflect the Ghanaian perspective. In connection with this, the Ghanaian populace must be educated on the forms of redress: both criminal and civil, in matters arising out of sporting activities. This does and should not exclude the activities of mechanisms put in place by sporting bodies.
70 60. Sports, like all other areas of life cannot exist in a vacuum; it is a societal activity that involves human participation as of necessity. Likewise, the law cannot exist in a vacuum, it must protect the rights and interest of society in all areas of life. That being said, law and sports are closely related. Sports exists to, inter alia, promote socio-economic growth; the law exists to ensure that in so doing, no rights are infringed on to the detriment of societal development.
71 61. The aim of public regulation of sports is simply to reconcile the right to engage in sporting activities with the duty not to infringe on the rights of others while allowing optimum realization of the former.
§5. Sports Doctors
72 62. As a result of sporting activities and the high risk of injury that may occur is the reason why there is always the need for medical practitioners to be available at all times whenever there is a game in session. Various clubs in Ghana do have medical physiotherapists and sports doctors, for the national teams, it is common to have these medical staff on the team and it is so for various clubs in the premier leagues. However, as you approach down the ladder of the status of the various leagues, it might be quite difficult having the presence of a medical practitioner in a team or during a game to see to injuries that may occur during the game. Comparing it to the developed sporting nations where they might be well equipped. In Ghana rarely will you have a case in sports where a medical practitioner is sued for incidence of medical negligence. A clear example of such a case which occurred was when one of Ghana’s most prominent goal keepers Ali Jarrah who during a football game encountered an injury and was not properly taken care of, became paralyzed and was unable to continue with his football career. A situation like this could easily be held for a case of medical negligence.
73 63. The goal keeper failed to sue for medical negligence and this has relatively been the practice. We know that in sports, players are assets to their various teams and clubs and as such medical care should be an area that should be taken seriously.
74 64. In Ghana the practice of hooliganism as well as various criminal activities relating to especially football activities is on the rise. This usually occurs when fans of a home team decide to attack not only fans of the away team but sometimes officiating officials of the game with the intention of trying to intimidate the officials so as to influence the outcome of the game in their favor., Acts of a similar nature are reported even in secondary schools where after their various sporting competitions the students engage in acts of violent behavior against themselves. This has amounted to various properties being destroyed as a result of these acts. Due to the increase in the criminal nature of some sports fans there was immense pressure on the government for the Sports Act 2016 to be passed in order to help tackle some of these situations. The Acts came into force to help with the identification and rectification of these lapses under the old law.
75 65. Supporters of Accra Hearts of Oak Football club were reported to have pelted match officials during a league game match between Wa All Stars in Accra which resulted in some sort of injuries and these match officials. The Coach of the division one side Elmina sharks, Kobina Amissah was allegedly assaulted by the supporters of the opposing team Proud Fc after a game between the two sides at the Sekondi Gyandu Park. The Executive Committee of the Ghana Football Association acted swiftly and placed a ban on the Gyandu Park as a league centre due to safety reason. Football hooliganism has become popular among fans of especially football clubs therefore; certain measures need to be put into place in order to restrain what is becoming a bad practice within the sports sector.
76 66. Ghana Football Association vrs Techiman City FC, this was a match between Techiman City and Eleven Wonders played in Techiman. In this matter, Techiman City FC was charged with two counts. The Club was charged with a breach of article 35(1b), 35(4), 35(7a&d) and 35(9) of the GFA General Regulations and Article 66(1&3) of the GFA Disciplinary code in respect of the match played. In this game, the supporters of Techiman City FC attacked the match officials and one of them strangled the Centre Referee for two minutes. In the process, the referee lost his pen, watch, red and yellow cards and his shirt was torn in violation of the GFA Regulations. The Club denied the charges and explained that the match was a heated local derby and that it was difficult for anyone to be able to identify and separate supporters of both Techiman City FC from supporters of Techiman Eleven Wonders FC. They also argued that there were a lot of police personnel on duty to provide security on that particular day. The Committee held that it sided with article 85 of the disciplinary code on the facts stated in the match report and the evidence given by the prosecution. The committee was satisfied from the evidence before it that the conduct of Techiman City FC amounts to a gross breach of regulations and shall accordingly apply the necessary sanctions against them in that respect. The club was charged with a fine of five thousand Ghana cedis in accordance with article 39(1)(b) of the GFA General Regulations. On charge 2, it imposed another fine of two thousand Ghana cedis on Techiman City Fc in accordance with Article 39(1)(b) of the GFA General Regulations.
77 67. Out of the fine, the GFA shall pay seven hundred Ghana cedis to referee Prince Amoah as compensation for his mistreatment by the supporters and his lost items. It is with this that various people in the sporting sector including sports journalist decided impose pressure on the government in order for the new sports law to be passed, so that certain challenges which the various institutions faced could be properly addressed under the new law. However, after the law was passed it seems the situation still remains the same and no clear measures have been put in place to tackle the situation. After the Stadium disaster which occurred during a football match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak on the 9th of May 2001, a Commission of enquiry was established to investigate and to come up with recommendations that will forestall any re-occurrence. The main thrust of their findings was the realization of serious flaws in the security system at the stadium. Years on, can we say that strict regulations have been put into place to check the rate of hooliganism in the country? The answer to this question will be in the negative because it is a fact that hooliganism is something which we are facing and there have not been any strict measures like criminal prosecution of supporters who indulge in this act, usually what happens is that the Association will proceed to place a ban or sanction on the clubs whose supporters indulged in such an act.
78 68. Unlike in the well-developed sporting countries like the United Kingdom who have implemented laws like Football Spectators Act that seek to regulate acts of supporters and place various sanctions which includes the banning of supporters found culpable of certain acts from participating in such sporting activities, in Ghana there are no such particular laws passed to help in the regulation of such incidents. Mostly what is the practice is that, the various Sporting Associations under the Sports Authority within their own power could place bans on such particular clubs involved in these acts. For instance, in Ghana the power usually lies in the Authority of the identified sports body under whose supervision the defaulting club identifies itself who has the authority to proceed in engaging in such matters.
§6. Dispute Settlements
79 69. Disputes in sports has undoubtedly been on the ascendency, Coupled with widespread education, Sportsmen now have the confidence to challenge decisions they believe was wrongfully against them. In Ghana the various Sporting Associations operate under the umbrella of the international and external bodies so that laws and regulations that are put in place are expected to be in compliance with that of the international governing body. Disputes resolutions in sports are decided or heard in various ways which includes Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms, which includes the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
80 70. For instance, under the statute of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) article 44.1 states that the GFA, its members and its officials undertake not to take any dispute to the ordinary courts unless specifically provided for in the statutes of the GFA or FIFA. Members are required to submit any such disputes to the jurisdiction of the appropriate organs of the GFA, WAFU, CAF or FIFA.
81 71. Article 44.2 also states that the GFA shall have jurisdiction over internal disputes that is, disputes between parties belonging to the GFA, while FIFA shall have jurisdiction on international disputes that is, disputes between two National Associations and / or Confederations.
82 72. This clearly is evidence to the fact that in Ghana rarely will you notice sports disputes being referred to the Courts for judgment. They are first supposed to be referred to the Ethics Committee or the Dispute Resolution Committee of the various Sports Associations to determine the decision of the case. The conduct of proceedings by and the powers of the Dispute Resolution Committee shall be in accordance with the Arbitration Act 1961, as if the Dispute Resolution Committee was appointed under an arbitration agreement by the parties.
83 73. Article 45 of the GFA also states in accordance with Articles 62 and 63 of the FIFA Statutes, any appeal against a binding decision of an organ of FIFA shall be dealt with by CAS which shall be recognized by the GFA and its members as an Independent Judicial Authority whose decision they will respect. The CAS shall however, not have jurisdiction on any disputes relating to:
45.1.1 The violation of the laws of the Game,
45.1.2 Suspension of up to 4 matches or 3 months,
45.1.3 Decisions passed by an independent and duly constituted Arbitration Committee of the GFA.
45.2 The GFA shall ensure that itself and its members, match and players’ agents will fully comply with the final and binding decisions by FIFA or by CAS.
84 74. The various associations have laid down regulations on contracts. For example, in the GFA regulations, article 12 states that a contract between a professional and a club may only be terminated either upon the expiration of the term of the contract or by mutual agreement between the player and the club.
85 75. Moreover, where it can be established that there is just cause to do so, a contract may be terminated by either party (player or club) without consequences of any kind (i.e., either the payment of compensation or the imposition of sporting sanctions).
Pursuant to article 14 of the GFA regulations, it is legitimate for an established professional, who has featured in less than 10% of his club’s official matches in a season, to terminate his contract prematurely by applying to the players’ Status Committee to be granted free agency on the ground of sporting just cause, or just cause justifiable purely on sporting grounds.
The Committee shall give due consideration to the player’s circumstances. The existence of sporting just cause shall be established by the PSC (Player’s Status Committee) on a case-by-case basis. In such a case, sporting sanctions shall not be imposed, though compensation may still be payable.
According to Article 15 of the GFA regulations a contract cannot be unilaterally terminated during the course of a season.
Article 16 of the GFA regulations states that where a contract is terminated without just cause, a compensation shall be paid by the party (either player or club) in breach of the contact. The compensation shall be calculated with due regard to the labour laws of Ghana, the specific case of football as a sport, and other objective criteria including player’s remuneration and/ or other fringe benefits that he may be entitled to under his current or new contract, the time left of his current contract up to a minimum of five years, the fees or expenses paid or incurred by the former club amortised over the term of the contract and finally, whether the contractual breach occurred during the protected period.
1. If a professional is liable to pay compensation, the player and his new club shall be held jointly and severally liable for its payment. The amount may be stipulated as a buy-out clause in the contract, or negotiated and agreed between the parties.
2. Imposition of sporting sanctions: besides the obligation of the payment of compensation, sporting sanctions shall also be imposed on any player guilty of breaching his contract during the protected period. This sanction shall be a 4 month ban on playing any official matches and in more serious areas, the ban shall be extended to 6 months (see Art. 17.3 of the FIFA Regulations).
3. Unilateral breach without just cause or sporting just cause that occurs after the protected period, shall not result in sporting sanctions. Disciplinary measures may however be imposed outside the protected period for failure to give notice of termination within 15 days following the last official match of the season. With regards to a club in breach of contract or found guilty of inducing a player to breach a contract during the protected period, in addition to the obligation to pay compensation, sporting sanctions shall be imposed on such a club. It shall be presumed, unless the club can prove the contrary, that any club signing a professional who terminated his contract without just cause, has induced the professional to commit the breach. That club shall be banned from registering any new player(s) domestically for one registration period in addition to a fine of not less than GH₵ 5,000.
4. Any person subject to the GFA Statutes and regulations (player, club, official, players’ agent, etc.) who acts in a manner designed to induce a breach of contract between a professional and a club in order to facilitate the transfer of the player, is subjection to sanction.
Article 17a. Provides special provisions relating contracts between professionals and clubs. In particular:
1. All contracts signed by a player shall take effect from either 1st July or 1st January and terminate on 30th June.
2. If an agent is involved in the negotiation of a contract, he shall be named in that contract.
3. The minimum length of a contract shall be from its effective date until the end of the season, while the maximum length of a contract shall be five years. Contracts of any other length shall only be permitted if consistent with labour laws of Ghana. Players under the age of 18 may not sign a professional contract for a term longer than three years. Any clause referring to a longer period shall not be recognized.
4. A club intending to conclude a contract with a professional must inform the player’s current club in writing before entering into negotiations with him. A professional shall only be free to conclude a contract with another club if his contract with his present club has expired or is due to expire within six months. Any breach of this provision shall be subject appropriate sanctions.
5. The validity of a contract may be made subject to a successful medical examination and / or the grant of a work permit.
6. If a professional enters into more than one contract covering the same period, the provisions set forth in Article 17 shall apply.
Article 17b third- party influence on clubs.
1. No club shall enter into a contract which enables any other party to that contract or any third party to acquire the ability to influence in employment and transfer – related matters tis independence, its policies or the performance of its teams.
2. The GFA Disciplinary Committee may impose disciplinary measures on clubs and officials that do not observe the obligations contained in the GFA regulations.
This is to say that there have been laid down procedures on how various contracts between parties are supposed to be done.
86 76. The sporting bodies have resulted in referring cases on sports dispute to the various ADR or ethics committees established for the hearing of such disputes. This measure as compared to seeking redress in the courts is faster, prevents public hearing, relatively cheaper, and also confidential.
87 77. There are also laid down rules and regulations on how transfers of various players should be enacted.
Article 33 of the GFA regulations for example states as follows:
1. Transfer negotiations shall, in accordance with FIFA Regulations, involve three parties, the player, the club he wishes to leave and new club he intends to join.
2. For the avoidance of doubt, transfer of players shall be in accordance with prevailing FIFA regulations, which include the following:
I. A club intending to conclude a contract with a professional must inform his current club in writing before entering into negotiations with that professional. A professional shall only be free to conclude a contract with another club if his contract with his present club has expired or will expire within six months. Any breach of this provision shall be subject to appropriate sanctions. Any violation shall attract a fine not less than GH₵ 5, 000.00 and not more than GH₵ 30, 000.00
II. If a professional player concludes a contract with a new club his former club shall be entitled to compensation for his training and / or development.
III. If a professional player concludes a contract with a new club which he joins as a professional his former club shall be entitled to compensation for his development.
IV. If an amateur player is transferred to another club and maintains the same amateur status there, his former club shall be entitled to compensation for his training.
V. If the player’s former club considers it is entitled to compensation for development under the terms of (iii) above, it shall file its claim with the GFA within three months from the date of the player turning professional. In the event that the new club defaults its payment at that point the player shall be considered ineligible to participate in any official match of the GFA.
VI. Where there is a dispute between a player and his club or between two clubs over the player’s intention to leave his current club, the new registration of such a player shall be suspended until the dispute is resolved by the players’ Status Committee of the GFA.
3. Payment of training and player development fees shall be negotiated by the parties. Where the parties are unable to reach any agreement as to the training / development fees, the matter shall be referred to the GFA Dispute Resolution Committee. The Committee’s decision shall be final.
4. A club may make a valid agreement with any of its players waiving its right to compensation for training and development due it under the terms of these regulations, such a waiver, must be in writing to be valid.
5. (c) Negotiations for the transfer of a player registered with the GFA to a club belonging to another National Association shall be conducted between the Ghanaian club, the Foreign club and the player. The GFA should be notified of the result of the negotiation to enable the Association to comply with the FIFA regulations.
(b) The GFA shall not interfere with negotiation and the process of transferring a player from a member club to a club belonging to another National Association provided that:
I. The player has met his contractual obligations to his mother or current club whichever is applicable: clubs may transfer any number of players within the season.
II. The contract with the player contains a clause which obliges his new club to release the player to honour, a call by the GFA to play for a national team in accordance with FIFA’s Regulations with respect to the number of releases per year and time allowed for training.
(c) Ten (10) percent of all training and transfer fees in respect of external transfers, shall be paid into a Football Development Fund as follows:
I. Five percent shall be paid to the GFA
II. Five percent shall be paid to the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA). Where the player involved is a Juvenile, GHALCA’s 5 percent share shall be paid to the National Juvenile Committee.
6. An International Transfer Certificate shall be issued whenever an amateur player leaves to join another National Association to which he has been released or loaned.
7. The outright transfer of a player(s) currently registered with any club or clubs under the jurisdiction of the GFA to a club of another Association, shall follow the under- mentioned procedure:
(a) The player and his club shall complete and sign a GFA “cancelled by mutual consent” form to annul the player’s registration with the club and the GFA.
(b) The Player(s) License shall be sent to the GFA.
(c) The player(s) must complete and sign a GFA questionnaire requesting the issuance of an international Transfer Certificate (ITC) in his name to the national association to which his prospective club belongs.
(d) A copy of the transfer agreement duly signed by the two (2) clubs, must be submitted together with the afore- mentioned document to the GFA General Secretary or through the TMS.
(e) The transfer agreement must contain indications as to when the payment of the agreed transfer compensation is due.
(f) The issuance of an international Transfer Certificate shall be contingent upon the satisfaction of the conditions stated above, except where the GFA has a good reason to vary them.
8. International transfer of players is only permitted if the player is over the age of 18.
9. The following three exceptions to this rule apply;
(a) The player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for reasons not linked to football.
(b) The transfer takes place within the territory of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) and the player is aged between 18. In this case, the new club must fulfill the following minimum obligations.
I. It shall provide the player with an adequate football education and/ or training in line with the highest national standards.
II. It shall guarantee the player and academic and/ or school and/ or vocational education and/ or training which will allow the player to pursue a career other than football should he cease playing professional football.
III. It shall make all the necessary arrangements to ensure that the player is looked after in the best possible way (optimum living standard with a host family or in club accommodation, appointment of a mentor at the club, etc.)
IV. It shall on registration of such a player, provide the relevant association with proof that it is complying with the aforementioned obligations.
(c) The player lives no further than 50km. from a national border and the club with which the player wishes to be registered in the neighboring association is also within 50km of that border. The maximum distance between the player’s domicile and the club’s headquarters shall be 100km in such cases, the player must continue to live at home and the two associations concerned must give their explicit consent.
10. The conditions of this Article shall also apply to any player who has never previously been registered with a club and is not a national of the country in which he wished to be registered for the first time.
11. Every international transfer according to paragraph 9 and every first registration according to paragraph 10 of this article is subject to the approval of the sub- committee appointed by the Players’ Status Committee for that purpose. The application for approval shall be submitted by the association that wished to register the player. The former association shall be given the opportunity to submit its position. The sub committee’s approval shall be obtained prior to any request from an association for an international Transfer Certificate, and/ or a first registration. Any violations of this provision will be sanctioned by the Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the FIFA Disciplinary Code in addition to the association that failed to apply to the sub- committee, sanction may also be imposed on the former association for issuing an international transfer certificate without the approval of the sub- committee, as well as on the clubs that reached an agreement for the transfer of a minor.
12. The procedures for applying to the sub- committee for a first registration and an international transfer of a minor are contained in Annex 2 of the FIFA Regulation on the status and transfer of Players.
§7. Taxation
88 78. Under the Income Tax Act 2015, it is a requirement to pay taxes and thus various organizations and individuals captured under sports are in no way exempted. The various clubs, their professional players are all taxable and are required to abide by the tax regulations under the income tax act 2015. Professional sports clubs are likely to be incorporated as companies and will be captured as such under the law. However, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has encouraged sponsors who usually donate to the various sports associations to do and in return the ministry could activate tax exemptions for the various companies who want to contribute towards the development of sports in the country. In the year 2010 the Voltic Water Company agreed to sponsor the Ghana Amateur Boxing Federations so us to help encourage sporting activities in that area to develop. In return the then minister of sports promised to ensure tax exemptions for the various companies who will contribute towards the development of sports in the country. In recent times institutions have appealed to the Ministry of Youth and Sports to provide them with tax exemptions especially in the payment of VAT on game proceeds and the approximately 20% levy paid for hiring and maintenance of sporting facilities. If these appeals can be considered, it will help increase monies which are put into sports and hence go a long way to help in the development of sports within the country.
89 79. Self-employed sports persons are also liable to pay taxes under the income tax act 2015. It is captured under the law that, once a person is earning some money, then part of that earning needs to be deducted as tax for the state.
Part II. Sport and Employment
Chapter 1. General Issues
Part II, Ch. 1, General Issues
Part II, Ch. 1, General Issues
90 80. The question that may arise is, who an employee really is and whether or not sportsmen and women may fall under employees. In every country the employment system is very important and this may be related to the issue that, it is workers that drive the economy and if particular laws, rules and regulations are not put in place to help manage the area, it might turn out to be a major problem within the society. Then again as identified above, if employment issues in the area of sports are not taken seriously to regulate the system in force, sporting activities may have major issues within it.
Chapter 2. Sources of Employment Law
Part II, Ch. 2, Sources of Employment Law
Part II, Ch. 2, Sources of Employment Law
91 81. Under sports in Ghana we have two categories of these and it is stated below.
92 82. In Ghana, athletes may have the status of Amateurs or Professionals. So pursuant to article 25 of the Ghana Football Association general regulations:
1. Players participating in Organized Football are either Amateurs or Professionals.
2. A Professional is a player who has a written contract with a club, is paid more for his footballing activity than the expenses he effectively incurs. All other players are considered as Amateurs.
3. A player registered as a professional may not re-register as an Amateur until at least 30 days after his last match as a professional.
4. No compensation is payable upon reacquisition of Amateur Status. If a player re- registers as a professional within 30 months of being reinstated as an Amateur, his new club shall pay training compensation in accordance with Article 20 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
5. Professionals who end their careers upon expiry of their contracts and Amateurs who terminate their activity shall remain registered at the Association of their last club for a period of 30 months.
6. This period begins on the day the player made his last appearance for the club in an official match.
93 83. Professional sportsmen and women are captured under the Labour Act as employees and shall be treated as such under the laws of the country.
94 84. With this, the question really is, whether or not all sportsmen and women should be considered as employees. Let’s take into context for example in the case of boxers who may negotiate their own transactions as to whom to fight with and when to fight, with such a situation it means that the boxer is most often not controlled by any employer and may only be guided by their promoter and coach as to which matches they should undertake. Generally, it points to the fact that in Ghana some sportsmen and women under certain categories may be considered as employees. Example of such category of people are professional footballers while others may also be categorized as self- employed.
95 85. Referees are to be captured or regulated by the various associations under which they operate in Ghana. For instance, refereeing organizations, regulations and development for football shall be under the exclusive control of the GFA, and under no circumstances, shall these fall under the supervision or control of other bodies, such as the leagues, unions or welfare bodies or government (parliament and any other state authorities). This is to state that referees cannot be classified as self-employed due to the fact that to be able to be a professional football referee in Ghana then you need to be under the refereeing organization regulated under the GFA and this also goes for other referees under other professional sports bodies in Ghana. They need to be registered under the association of the particular sports they are recognized.
§1. Collective Bargaining
96 86. Under the Labour act of Ghana, workers employed in the same undertaking may form or join an employers’ organization, the most important one is the Professional Footballers Association.
97 87. For those professional footballers here in Ghana whose expired contracts are not renewed, those who have been released by various club sides, and those adjudged by their employers not to have met the grade, the feeling of uncertainty and unfulfillment tends to pose serious concern. The union is formed in order to fight for their members against unfair treatment and also to represent the individual and collective interests of their members. We should also note that in Ghana it is not binding on employees to join or form trade unions. It is not a duty or an obligation, it is by own will.
98 88. However, part or all of the content of a collective agreement can be incorporated into the individual contracts of employment of the employees on whose behalf the union was negotiating. A collective agreement negotiated will be binding on all employees as well as employers. These unions also engage in campaigns on behalf of its members. On behalf of the union, players have been enlightened on the numerous benefits the union provides them, such as a voice seeking fair minimum salary wage to ensure a more comfortable standard of living, the ‘Life after Football’ fund which safeguards their future after they retire, and the numerous opportunities that exist after their football careers come to an end.
99 89. One of the campaigns of the Professional Football Association is the “Out of Contract” Training Program. The program is under the tutelage of renowned ex-Ghana international, Abubakr Damba, who is the technical instructor of the PFAG. Coach Damba, a former Black Stars goaltender, has participated in a number of certified coaching courses, and aspires to continually be a better coach. He is able to better influence his players positively. It can be tough for non-contracted players hunting for new clubs, so the program seeks to offer a platform to members in the hope that they will ultimately gain a professional contract. The program is a commendable initiative which offers non-contracted players the opportunity to keep active and showcase their talents on a stage which is sure to attract the sort of interest they crave for from clubs. The program also enables various scouts and coaches the chance to cast an eye over potential signings who are not presently engaged by other clubs.
i. The Right to Strike
100 90. Labour act of Ghana states clearly what workers who would want to engage in a strike action need to do, section 159 states where:
(a) The parties fail to agree to refer the dispute to voluntary arbitration; or
(b) The dispute remains unresolved at the end of the arbitration proceeding. Either party intending to take strike action or institute lockout, shall give written notice of this to the other party and the Commission, with seven days after failure to agree to refer the dispute to voluntary arbitration or the termination of proceedings.
101 91. It is no doubt that if there was unavailability of collective bargaining there would have been a substantial amount of cases of strike actions. Trade unions have therefore provided a means by which employees have been able to voice their discrepancies without proceeding with any form of strike actions. For a strike action by employees to become necessary, would mean that all other necessary engagements would have broken down at some point. However, if strike actions become necessary there are processes that need to be fulfilled stated under the Labour Act before any strike action of any sort can proceed.
I. Express Terms
102 We will acknowledge that there are some important aspects, especially the express terms that are contained in a sports professional contract. Just like any other employment contract whatever is written in a contract will draw or bring out the particular duties and rights of the contracting parties. We should know that there are likely express terms that may be included in a sports professional contract that might not be in any other normal employment contracts. For example, it is most likely to have in a written professional contract a provision of medical care on all injuries. There may also be a contract which will include sponsorship deals; in this same contract there may be duties which will be expected of these players. These may include, behaving in a professional manner which will not create a bad image for the Club as well as sponsors of the club.
Let’s look at the following stated below:
§2. Duties of Employers
103 92. We would rely on the Labour Act which states the duties of every employer.
104 93. Section 9 states without prejudice to the provisions of this Act and any other enactment for the time being in force, in any contract of employment or collective agreement, the duties of an employer include the duty to
(a) Provide work and appropriate raw materials, machinery, equipment and tools;
(b) Pay the agreed remuneration at the time and place agreed on in the contract of employment or collective bargaining agreement or by law or agreed between the employer and the worker
(c) Take all practicable steps to ensure that the worker is free from risk of personal injury or damage to his or her health during and in the course of the worker’s employment or while lawfully on the employer’s premises
(d) Develop the human resources by way of training and retaining of the workers
(e) Provide and ensure the operation of an adequate procedure for discipline of the workers
(f) Furnish the worker with a copy of the worker’s contract of employment
(g) Keep open the channels of communication with the workers and
(h) Protect the interests of the workers.
Under the laws of Ghana, the Labour Act covers either an employer or employee and as such it is binding on employment in the sports sector.
The Duty of “take Reasonable” care with Respect to the Health, Safety and Welfare of the Employee
105 94. The Labour Act has a provision with respect to the above mentioned subject matter. It is the duty of an employer to ensure that every worker employed by him or her works under satisfactory, safe and healthy conditions. Relating this to professional sports, there is no doubt that in this area there are a lot of injuries in the performance of their normal duties, therefore it is expected that their employers owe that duty to take reasonable care with respect to the health, safety and welfare of the employee.
The Duty of Obedience
106 95. The employee is supposed to obey all reasonable instructions of the employer. A reasonable instruction will be one that will not demand more than it is expected of the employee to be engaged in. It is usual that other personal factors like comportment off the field of play will be inclusive usually since the clubs will have certain sponsorship. It will be a bad image to have one of their players involved in a misconduct.
The Duty of Take Reasonable Care
107 96. Professional players have contracts with their various clubs and considering the monies involved in payment of salaries as well as other huge financial commitments that the various clubs have, should a player injure himself, their team mate or even an opponent, it is understandable that a club will ask a player to indemnify for such a loss where it is as a result of the recklessness or negligence of the player. For example the Ghana Football Association Regulations Article 32(3) states: Any Club that releases its professional player to his senior national men’s team shall be indemnified or compensated in the event that the player sustains an injury while on duty with the national ‘A’ team playing matches listed in the international match calendar.
The Duty of Fidelity: Exclusivity
108 97. Usually, in employment contracts, confidentiality is a part of the contract, therefore it is expected that employees will abide by the rules of confidentiality with respect to their area of employment. Employers are therefore expected to include this confidentiality as part of the terms of the contract. Provisions are made under part III of the Labour Act 2003 for relationships on employment in Ghana which also covers the sporting sector.
§3. Transfer of Players
109 98. Transfer of Players plays a major role in sports, there is no doubt that these transfers of players influence the various leagues in a way that, a transfer of a player from a club to another club or even a transfer of a player who is out of contract to a club may help determine the status of that particular club that season. It is a fact that in anticipation of the season a player is brought into a club with the notion of contributing positively to the club, however it is a fact that whiles some players may come in as a good buy and investment, others may come in as a flop unable to make the impact that was expected of them. These transactions that happen in the day to day activities of these clubs cannot be unnoticed since they tend to play a major role in whatever fortunes a club might have.
110 99. It is in accordance with this that the major regulators of the various leagues have laid down various regulations to help with the transfer systems within which they find themselves. It should also be noted that in as much as these transfers may play a major role in whatever impartation a club may have in a particular season, there are also those who might want to take advantage of the system. These may include the various agents, or the various representatives of the various clubs. We should note that careers of the various sportsmen and women usually start at a very early age and as such these young ones who are mostly naïve may be taken advantage of. It is with this respect that these authorities have put in place the various regulations to help the transfer system.
The Ghana Football Association has laid down rules under which the transfer system should operate. Under article 33 of the regulations:
1. Transfer negotiations shall, in accordance with FIFA Regulations, involve three parties, the player, the club he wishes to leave and the new club he intends to join.
2. For the avoidance of doubt, movement of players shall be in accordance with prevailing FIFA regulations, which includes the following:
(a) A club intending to conclude a contract with a professional must inform his current club in writing before entering in that negotiations with that professional. A Professional shall only be free to conclude a contract with another club if his contract with his present club has expired or will expire within six months. Any breach of this provision shall be subject to appropriate sanctions. Any violation shall attract a fine of not less than Gh₵ 5, 000.00 and not more than Gh₵30, 000.00.
(ii) if a professional player concludes a contract with a new club his former club shall be entitled to compensation for his training and/ or development.
(iii) If a professional player concludes a contract with a new club which he joins as a professional player his former club shall be entitled to compensation for his development.
(iv) If an amateur player is transferred to another club and maintains the same amateur status there, his former club shall be entitled to compensation for his training.
(v) if the player’s former club considers it is entitled to compensation for development under the terms of (iii) above, it shall file its claim with the GFA within three months from the date of the player turning professional. In the event that the new club defaults its payment at that point the player shall be considered ineligible to participate in any official match of the GFA.
(iv) Where there is a dispute between a player and his club or between two clubs over the player’s intention to leave his current club, the new registration of such a player shall be suspended until the dispute is resolved by the Player’s Status Committee of the GFA.
3. Payment of training and player development fees shall be negotiated by the parties. Where the parties are unable to reach any agreement as to the training/ development fees the matter shall be referred to the GFA Dispute Resolution Committee. The Committee’s decision shall be final.
4. A club may make a valid agreement with any of its players waiving its right to compensation for training and development due it under the terms of these regulations, such a waiver, must be in writing to be valid.
5. (a) Negotiations for the transfer of a player registered with the GFA to a club belonging to another National Association shall be conducted between the Ghanaian club, the foreign club and the player. The GFA should be notified of the result of the negotiation to enable the Association to comply with the FIFA regulations.
(b) The GFA shall not interfere with negotiation and the process of transferring a player from a member club to a club belonging to another National Association provided that:
i. The player has met his contractual obligations to his mother or current club whichever is applicable: clubs may transfer any number of players within the season.
ii. The contract with the player contains a clause which obliges his new club to release the player to honour, a call by the GFA to play for a national team in accordance with FIFA’s regulations with respect to the number of releases per year and time allowed for training.
(c) Ten percent of all training and transfer fees in respect of external transfers, shall be paid into a Football Development Fund as follows:
i. Five percent shall be paid to the GFA
ii. Five percent shall be paid to the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA). Where the player involved is a juvenile, GHALCA’s 5 percent share shall be paid to the National Juvenile Committee.
6. An international Transfer Certificate shall be issued whenever an amateur player leaves to join another National Association to which he has been released or loaned.
7. The outright transfer of a player(s) currently registered with any club or clubs under the jurisdiction of the GFA to a club of another Association, shall follow the under-mentioned procedure:
(a) The player and his club shall complete and sign a GFA “cancelled by mutual consent” form to annul the player’s registration with the club and the GFA.
(b) The Player(s) License shall be sent to the GFA.
(c) The player(s) must complete and sign a GFA questionnaire requesting the issuance of an international Transfer Certificate (ITC) in his name to the national association to which his prospective club belongs.
(d) A copy of the transfer agreement duly signed by the two clubs, must be submitted together with the afore-mentioned document to the GFA General Secretary or through the TMS.
(e) The transfer agreement must contain indications as to when the payment of the agreed transfer compensation is due.
(f) The issuance of an international transfer certificate shall be contingent upon the satisfaction of the conditions stated above, except where the GFA has a good reason to vary them.
8. According to the FIFA regulations on Status and Transfer of Players, international transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18.
9. The following three exceptions to this rule apply;
(a) The player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for reasons not linked to football.
(b) The transfer takes place within the territory of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) and the player is aged between 18. In this case, the new club must fulfill the following minimum obligations.
i. It shall provide the player with an adequate football education and/ or training in line with the highest national standards.
ii. It shall guarantee the player an academic and/ or school and/ or vocational education and/ or training which will allow the player to pursue a career other than football should he cease playing professional football.
iii. It shall make all necessary arrangements to ensure that the player is looked after in the best possible way (optimum living standard with a host family or in club accommodation, appointment of a mentor at the club, etc)
iv. It shall on registration of such a player, provide the relevant association with proof that it is complying with the aforementioned obligations.
(c) The player lives no further than 50 km from a national border and a club with which the player wishes to be registered in the neighboring association is also within 50 km of that border. The maximum distance between a player’s domicile and the club’s headquarters shall be 100km in such cases, the player must continue to live at home and two associations concerned must give their explicit consent.
10. The conditions of this article shall also apply to any player who has never previously been registered with a club and is not a national of the country in which he wished to be registered for the first time.
11. Every national transfer according to paragraph 9 and every first registration according to paragraph 10 of this article is subject to the approval of the sub- committee appointed by the players’ status committee for that purpose. The application for approval shall be submitted by the association that wished to register the player. The formal association shall be given the opportunity to submit its position. The sub committee’s approval shall be obtained prior to any request from an association for an International Transfer Certificate, and/ or a first registration. Any violation of this provision will be sanctioned by the Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the FIFA disciplinary code in addition to the association that failed to apply to the sub-committee, as well as on the clubs that reached an agreement for the transfer of a minor.
12. The procedures for applying to the sub-committee for a first registration and an international transfer of a minor are contained in Annex 2 of the FIFA Regulation on the status and Transfer of Players.
In the case of West African Football Academy vs Accra Great Olympic FC,
West African Football Academy SC (the petitioner) on March 9, 2017 protested against Accra Great Olympics FC (Respondent) for failing to pay the transfer fee of Joseph Halm to Medeama SC, an amount of Eighteen Thousand Ghana Cedis ordered by GFA Player’s Status Committee before playing in their Match Day 5 Ghana Premier League match played at Accra Sports on Sunday, March 5, 2017 in contravention of articles 39(8)(b) of the General Regulations of the GFA.
111 100. The case of the Petitioner was that on September 30, 2016 the GFA Player Status Committee ordered Accra Great Olympics to pay Medeama SC an amount of Eighteen Thousand Ghana Cedis within 14 days upon receipt of the said decision. The Petitioner attached the decision of the players’ status Committee.
112 101. The petitioner further argues that at the time of the match in question played on March 5, 2017, Accra Great Olympics FC had refused to pay the said amount and attached a letter from Medeama SC addressed to the GFA demanding the payment of the said amount from Accra Great Olympics FC.
113 102. The Petitioner consequently, prayed that Accra Great Olympics FC should forfeit the match for violating the GFA regulations and that West African Football Academy should be declared as winners of the match with a 3-0 scoreline.
114 103. The Respondent in their statement of defence to the protest, raised a preliminary objection and urged the Committee to dismiss the protest. According to Accra Great Olympics FC, the Petitioner failed to read and understand the last paragraph of that ruling of the Player Status Committee and quoted the said paragraph. The Respondent argued further that citing of article 39(8)(b) of the General Regulations is flawed making the case null and void.
115 104. The respondent also stated that the club had a mutual agreement with Medeama SC to pay by installments the amount and attached the agreement. The respondent consequently urged the Committee to dismiss the protest and award a punitive cost of five thousand Ghana cedis in favour of the respondent.
116 105. On the findings of the Committee the issue that arose from the facts and the relevant regulations on this matter is very clear. The petitioner stated that the respondent should suffer forfeiture for violating articles 39(8)(b) of the general regulations of the GFA. The petitioner had alleged that Accra Great Olympics FC had failed to pay the debt in question in full to Medeama SC.
It is the findings of the Committee that:
a. Accra Great Olympics FC had failed to settle the indebtedness in full to Medeama SC.
b. Medeama SC had written a letter dated February 28, 2017 to the GFA demanding full payment of the said judgement debt.
c. On March 7, 2017, Accra Great Olympics FC had signed a memorandum of understanding with Medeama SC to agree a payment schedule for the settlement of the debt.
117 106. On the regulations, this Committee has long established that both article 63 of the GFA Disciplinary code and 39(8) of the GFA General Regulations may be applied simultaneously where there are no preconditions or qualifications.
118 107. It is very clear to this Committee that the Players’ Status Committee narrowed the enforcement mechanism to only the deployment of article 63 of the GFA disciplinary code. It is our position that the Players’ Status Committee was aware of all the modes of enforcement of decision in question.
119 108. It is therefore our holding that the protest of west African football academy shall not succeed.
The committee therefore, makes the following decisions:
1. That the enforcement of the decision of the players’ status committee can only be enforced under article 63 of the GFA disciplinary code as specifically prescribed by the player status committee in paragraph 4 of the decision of the players’ status committee to the exclusion of article 39(8) of the GFA general regulations.
2. That the protest of west African football academy is hereby dismissed and the match results shall stand.
3. That no cost is awarded against west African football academy.
4. That should any party be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this decision, the party has within three days after this ruling have been communicated to the club to appeal to the appeals committee of the GFA.
§4. Termination of Contract
120 109. On the issue of termination of contract, it is stated in the above mentioned Labour Act on how termination of a contract by either an employer or an employee should be. In Ghanaian law this act which applies to all employment contracts also includes contracts under sports. Under Ghanaian law there are laws under the labor act which highlights occasions where there is a wrongful dismissal. This law also applies to sports professionals as well.
121 110. The labour act has stated when there could be fair termination of contract.
A termination of a contract of a worker may be termed fair under certain conditions and these conditions may include:
(a) If the worker is incompetent or lacks the qualification in relation to the work for which the worker is employed
(b) The proven misconduct of the worker
(c) Redundancy
(d) Due to legal restriction imposed on the worker prohibiting the worker from performing the work for which he or she is employed.
122 111. Under Ghanaian law a contract of employment may be terminated at any given time by either of the parties provided that the parties involved gave to the other party:
(a) In case of a contract of three years or more, one month’s notice or one month’s pay in lieu of notice.
(b) Notice or two weeks’ pay in lieu of notice
(c) In case of a contract from week to week, seven days’ notice.
123 112. It is expected that any employment of any sort which also covers employment under sports contracts is to be well couched so that if at the end of a stipulated period within which the contract falls, a non-renewal of that contract, will not be treated as a wrongful dismissal of that employee.
124 113. However, if before the contract expires the club goes ahead to repudiate the contract without any recourse, it could lead to a breach of contract amounting to a wrongful dismissal, one may be charged under the law for wrongly dismissing an employee. However, as stated earlier on, in a case where a player goes contrary to what is written under their contract, the employer or the player’s club may on the basis of that breach or misconduct proceed to repudiate the contract.
125 114. Dismissal of Managers of Professional football clubs and teams is something that usually occurs, it usually comes up as a result of either pressure from the fans of the club or teams for non-performance or if the expectations of the team or club is below the expected standard. Contract law is available to provide the structure of a legal background so that in instances where there is a wrongful dismissal it can be regulated under law.
126 115. On the issue of wrongful dismissal, in the year 2014 the Ethics Committee of the Ghana Football Association slapped Accra Hearts of Oak Football Club with a fine for wrongfully dismissing Coach David Duncan. Giants Accra Hearts of Oak were ordered to pay their former trainer a severance package of $40,000 (GHc86, 500).
127 116. The Status Committee of the Ghana Football Association gave the huge fine on the Accra-based side after the coach had reported the club to the federation claiming unlawful dismissal.
128 117. It is the biggest compensation pay-off for anyone in the history of the local league which is likely to have an effect on future erratic sacking of coaches in the Ghanaian top-flight.
129 118. The Status Committee upheld the view of the trainer that he was illegally dismissed without the necessary compensation due him when he was fired by the former African champions.
130 119. The Phobians were also slapped with a GHc 5,000 fine over the conduct of their lawyers after they failed to appear before the committee in a previous sitting.
131 120. The ruling is a massive financial setback for the Accra side whilst the management of the club will not escape blame for not negotiating a severance package with Duncan.
132 121. Coach Duncan’s representatives argued that the contract of their client was illegally terminated as stated in the labour laws of Ghana.
133 122. The ex-AshantiGold trainer demanded more money in damages despite being offered three months of his salary worth GHS 21,000 (about $10,000) which he rejected.
134 123. Hearts on the other hand argued that no law was broken in their dismissal of Duncan which prompted the coach to report the matter to the Ghana Football Association’s Status Committee.
135 124. The arbitrary body delivered the landmark judgement which has sent shockwaves throughout the football community as Duncan smiled all the way to the bank.
i. Remedies for Wrongful Dismissal
136 125. There are various remedies that can be sought under a wrongful dismissal of an employee under the laws of Ghana. For instance, if a worker claims that their employment was wrongfully terminated, the worker may present a complaint to the institution in charge of labour employment issues. This could be the Labour Commission or in this case the Ethics Committee of the Ghana Football Association or that of any of the Sports Associations which they are captured under.
137 126. If upon investigations by the complaint the Commission or institution in charge finds that the termination was unfair, it may order the employer to re- instate the worker from the date of the termination of employment, (II) order the employer to re-employ the worker, either in the work for which the worker was employed before the termination or in other reasonably suitable work on the same terms and conditions enjoyed by the worker before the termination or (c) order the employer to pay compensation to the worker.
138 127. In the area of professional sporting contracts in which the contract will usually be based on a particular fixed period of time, the most likely remedy which might be obtained under a wrongful dismissal should be compensation for some sort of financial loss and as a result of this, in professional sports there is a higher potential for attaining higher levels of damages.
ii. Injunctions
139 128. In Ghana there have been certain instances and cases whereby individual sports clubs have managed to place an injunction to prevent the start of the Football League. In a recent case between Accra Great Olympics v Ghana Football Association, the football club managed to place an injunction on the start of the Ghana Premier League 2017/2018 season which had to delay for the matter to be determined by the court. The club claimed it had brought a matter to the Association which it had refused to determine using their own rules and regulations. This only indicates that even though the various governing bodies in the various sporting sector insist and have relied on their core rules in determining issues within their jurisdiction, there is always room for a case to be sent to the courts for the determination of a particular matter.
iii. Damages
140 129. The principle under Ghanaian contract law for the calculation of damages caused, is to award the complainant an amount of money which will reinstate the person financially to the same position he would have been should the contract have been properly performed.
141 130. However, in the area of sports, usually a clause is put in the contract formed between the parties so that when a party goes contrary to the terms of the contract the amount to be paid as damages would have been already stated in the contract terms. We should note however that should the amount stipulated be determined by the association to be hefty, they will have the right to declare it as void., The status committee will then have the mandate to determine how much damages could be awarded to the complainant.
iv. Constructive Dismissal
142 131. Constructive dismissal is the term used when a person resigns from a job due to their employer’s conduct or due to actions that makes that person feel as though they are being ‘forced out. An employee could resign or leave employment in such situations that may lead to a constructive dismissal. In such a case this same employee may be entitled to some damages under the same reasons had he been wrongfully dismissed. We need to be aware that it can only be accepted as constructive dismissal whereby it is in response to a breach by the employer.
143 132. Let us first of all analyze a situation whereby a player of a club is not being selected for the obvious reasons of merit as practiced in the everyday sessions of the game but rather being left on the bench in order to pressurize him into leaving the club. Such a case could be categorized as a constructive dismissal and a player in such a case may be able to claim for damages. Discrimination in any aspect which includes sex, religion, ethnicity, as well as abuse are undoubtedly major problems in the area of sports and an obvious problem in sporting activities across all areas of sports. There are instances whereby players have engaged in these practices against their other football mates in training, during their tours, or even in their locker rooms. These behaviors may be the kind that may not be accepted in a usual working environment.
144 133. If such things proceed to go on, it is an obvious fact that a club will be in breach of their employment contract, if it does not proceed to investigate and punish such ongoing practices especially if it gets out of hand. What can be said if a player is also faced with the same situation with his direct coach? It is no exception if a player is being abused or assaulted by his coach and the club does nothing to ensure such incidences are stopped. It will pass for a breach of a contract and certainly provide for the basis of a constructive dismissal.
v. Unfair Dismissal
145 134. Unfair dismissal is captured under the labour law of Ghana; this is stated emphatically in the decision on unfairly dismissing an employee. Under article 63 of the Labour Act it is written and listed as unfair dismissal or unfair termination of an employee.
An employee qualifies under an unfair termination of employment if
(a) That worker has joined, intends to join or has ceased to be a member of a trade union or intends to take part in the activities of a trade union;
(b) That the worker seeks office as, or is acting or has acted in the capacity of a workers’ representative
(c) That the worker has filed a complaint or participated in proceedings against the employer involving alleged violation of this Act or any other enactment
(d) The worker’s gender, race, colour, ethnicity, origin, religion, creed, social, political or economic status
(e) In the case of a woman worker, due to the pregnancy of the worker or the absence of the worker from work during maternity leave
(f) In the case of a worker with a disability due to the worker’s disability
(g) That the worker is temporarily ill or injured and this is certified by a recognized medical practitioner
(h) That the worker does not possess the current level of qualification required in relation to work for which the worker was employed which is different from the level of qualification required at the commencement of his or her employment; or
(i) That the worker refused or indicated an intention to refuse to do any work normally done by a worker who at the time was taking part in a lawful strike unless the work is necessary to prevent actual danger to life, personal safety or health or the maintenance of plant and equipment.
(j) A worker’s employment is deemed to be unfairly terminated if with or without notice to the employer, the worker terminates the contract of employment
i. Because of ill-treatment of the worker by the employer, having regard to the circumstances
ii. Because the employer has failed to take action on repeated complaints of sexual harassment of the worker at the work place.
iii. A termination may be unfair if the employer fails to prove that,
a. The reason for the termination is fair, or
b. The termination was made in accordance with a fair procedure or this Act.
146 135. The claims of wrongful termination must first of all be presented to the labor commission. The creation of the National Labour Commission in Ghana is in response to this global phenomenon. The National Labour Commission, thus, becomes the sole institution to facilitate and settle industrial disputes using dialogue.
147 136. Established in 2005, under section 135 of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651), its law applies to all workers as well as employers with the exception of the Ghana Armed Forces. Police Service, Prison Service and other Security and Intelligence Agencies provided for under the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act 1996 (Act 526). Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) is also excluded by a Supreme Court decision.
148 137. Its major mandate includes receiving labour-related complaints, facilitating the settlement of Industrial disputes, settling industrial disputes and promoting effective cooperation between labour and management.
149 138. The NLC also performs other roles in areas such as investigating labour-related complaints, particularly, unfair labour practices and taking such steps as it considers necessary to prevent such disputes. It also maintains a data base of mediators and arbitrators.
150 139. Employment disputes are usually supposed to be reported to the Labour Commission for it to find solutions to the matter. However, if the Commission on the other hand during engagements with the persons involved is not able to resolve the disputes amicably, then the matter may be sent to the courts for it to be solved.
151 140. In the area of sports, it is recognized that the most obvious cases which employees face in relation to unfair termination of employment may be on issues concerning the worker’s gender, race, colour, ethnicity, origin, religion, creed, social, political or economic status. There are quite a number of instances whereby a player by the recommendation of a coach is bought and afterwards when a new coach is employed in to replace the previous coach, maybe based on the ethnicity of that particular player the new coach turns out to subject the player to all sorts of humiliations and since the coach is in charge may compel the management of the club to sell the player.
152 141. The termination of the contract of such a player may be recognized as a wrongful termination of contract.
153 142. Section 63(4) of the labour act as already stated above shows how a termination of an employment might be recognized as unfair so that it is the duty of the employer to prove that the reason for the termination is fair or the termination was made in accordance with a fair procedure of this Act. In a context where the employer is not able to satisfy the requirement stated above on the issue of unfair termination of their employee, the termination must be considered as being unfair.
vi. Remedies for Unfair Dismissal
154 There are a number of remedies stated for unfair termination of an employee. Under the Labour Act of Ghana, section 64 categorically states the remedies as:
i. Order the employer to re- instate the worker from the date of the termination of employment.
ii. Order the employer to re-employ the worker, either in the work for which the worker was employed before the termination or in other reasonably suitable work on the same terms and conditions enjoyed by the worker before the termination or
iii. Order the employer to pay compensation to the worker.
155 143. For the re-instatement what it means is that the employee would return to the job he or she was doing before their dismissal. The re-instated employee is supposed to receive arrears of pay and full restoration of rights. This type of compensation will be unlikely considered within the professional sports realm.
156 144. For an order for the re-employment of the worker in a place where he or she was employed, what it means is that, the employer is supposed to re-engage the worker to do the work that he or she was doing before or another work of the same status., However in the area of professional sports, it is usually unlikely that after the matter has been determined, that player who has had his or her employment wrongfully terminated, will be re-engaged or the player will be willing to represent that same club.
157 145. Another remedy stated in the labour act is to pay compensation to the worker, this remedy is the most likely to be made available to a professional sports player whose contract has been unfairly dismissed. The amount of money that will be directed as compensation will be determined either from the outcome of the status of the National Labour Commission or if extended to the courts then as the judge may determine. The main reason as to offer financial compensation will be to compensate the dismissed employee for their financial loss suffered, and also in relation to the breach of contract. Depending on the damage caused, the arbitrators or the judge may want to put into context the loss of future earnings, the inconvenience caused to the employee and so on to come to the final decision as to how much the employer will be directed to pay as damages to the employee.
vii. Unlawful Direct Discrimination
158 146. Under article 216 of the 1992 constitution, a Commission on Human Rights and Administration Justice (CHRAJ) which investigates complaints of violation of fundamental rights and freedoms, injustice, corruption, abuse of power and unfair treatment of any person by a public officer in the exercise of his official duties.
159 147. Also to investigate complaints concerning the functioning of the Public Services Commission, the administrative organs of the State, the Armed Forces, the Police Service and the Prisons Service in so far as complaints relate to the failure to achieve a balanced structuring of those services or equal access by all to the recruitment of those services or fair administration in relation to those service., To investigate complaints concerning practices and actions by persons, private enterprises and other institutions where those complaints allege violations of fundamental rights and freedoms under this Constitution, to take appropriate action to call for the remedying, correction and reversal of instances specified in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this clause through such means as are fair, proper and effective, including:
(i) Negotiation and compromise between the parties concerned;
(ii) Causing the complaint and its finding on it to be reported to the superior of an offending person;
(iii) Bringing proceedings in a competent Court for a remedy to secure the termination of the offending action or conduct, or the abandonment or alteration of the offending procedures; and
(iv) Bringing proceedings to restrain the enforcement of such legislation or regulation by challenging its validity if the offending action or conduct is sought to be justified by subordinate legislation or regulation which is unreasonable or otherwise ultra vires;
160 148. In the case of Ghana Commercial Bank Ltd V Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice [2003-2004] SCGLR 91, the appellant, the Ghana Commercial Bank employed the complainant for some twenty-one years. His appointment was terminated when he was the manager of the bank, the reason for the termination was that he had contravened the regulations by the bank by granting a loan facility of six million seven hundred thousand cedis (Gh₵ 6,700) to a customer of the bank without prior approval by the head office. In addition to terminating the appointment, the appellant withheld the entitlements of the complainant until such time that the customer would pay the loan. According to the complainant, he granted the facility in the normal course of business and after he had satisfied himself of the customer’s assets, the purpose of the loan and the viability of the customer’s business. Besides, the loan was secured with assets of the customer worth twenty-five million cedis (GH₵ 25,000).
161 149. Dissatisfied with the action taken against him, the complainant petitioned the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice redress. After investigating the petition, the commission decided in favor of the complainant by recommending that the appellant should pay the complainant some sums of money. The appellant failed to comply with the recommendations of the commission. To enforce it the commission applied to the high court. The order of enforcement was issued, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal against the decision of the High Court. The Court of Appeal upheld the decisions of the High Court. Dissatisfied with the decision, the appellant appealed to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the appeals court. It was established that it was discriminatory that other managers had also granted similar facilities far in excess of the amount he granted. Some of the amounts were as much as 36, 41, 57, 92, 180 and 230 million cedis. Nothing was done to the managers who granted those facilities. The complainant had based his issue on the fact that other managers had approved loans using the same process as his. However, their appointments had not been terminated. His appointment was terminated and that was discriminatory. Granting that there were clear rules on the granting of loans, the appellant should have been able to explain to the commission or the high court why, in spite of the existence of those clear rules, those other managers, who had, similarly misconducted themselves amounted to worse breaches of the rules, were not merely left off the hook but were allowed to continue working as if what they did was nothing at all. In the absence of the explanation it was held that indeed the decision taken in termination of the appointment was discriminatory.
viii. Unlawful Indirect Discrimination
162 150. The statutory definition of indirect discrimination is contained in article17 of the 1992 constitution, where it is stated that:
1) All persons shall be equal before the law.
(2) A person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.
(3) For the purposes of this article, “discriminate” means to give different treatment to different persons attributable only or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, gender, occupation, religion or creed, whereby persons of one description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another description are not made subject or are granted privileges or advantages which are not granted to persons of another description.
Article 57 of the Ghana Football Association disciplinary code specifically spells out the sanctions posed on various acts of discrimination as it follows:
a) anyone who offends the dignity of a person or group of persons through contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions concerning race, colour, language, religion or origin shall be suspended for at least five matches. Furthermore, a stadium ban and a fine of at least GH₵ 5,000 shall be imposed. If the perpetrator is an official, the fine shall be at least Gh₵ 5,000
b) Where several persons (officials and/or players) from the same club simultaneously breach article 57 par (1a) of GFA regulations or there are other aggravating circumstances, the team concerned may be deducted three points for a first offence and six points for a second offence; a further offence may result in demotion to a lower division. In the case of matches in which no points are awarded, the team may be disqualified from the competition.
a) where supporters of a team breach article 57 par. (1a) of GFA regulations at a match, a fine of at least GH 5,000 shall be imposed on the club concerned regardless of the question of culpable conduct or culpable oversight.
b) Serious offences may be punished with additional sanctions, in particular an order to play a match behind closed doors, the forfeiture of a match, a point deduction or disqualification from the competition. Spectators who breach par. (1a) of the GFA regulations shall receive a stadium ban of at least two years. Even though the 1992 constitution as well as other governing laws and statutes under sports do not encourage any form of discrimination, there are rarely reported cases of discrimination on sports in Ghana. This however does not in any way suggest that in Ghana the game is free from such incidents but it is practically because victims of such incidents are often reluctant to pursue the case. In 2016 a survey was conducted by The International Federation of Professional Footballers (Fifpro) and reported by Ghana web. According to the survey, hundred percent (100%) of footballers in Ghana revealed they earn less than US$ 1,000 (£800) a month. Players in Ghana revealed they face multiple forms of abuse including violent attacks on the pitch or outside; intimidation into signing contracts and isolation as a form of punishment. Players also reported very high levels of discrimination – which Fifpro categorized as racial, sexual or religious – by fans, other players, coaching staff and third parties.
§5. Disability &a Professional Sport
163 Section 17(3) of the 1992 constitution states
(3) For the purposes of this article, “discriminate” means to give different treatment to different persons attributable only or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, gender, occupation, religion or creed, whereby persons of one description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another description are not made subject or are granted privileges or advantages which are not granted to persons of another description.
The statement above indicates that people with disabilities if subjected to some restrictions that persons without disabilities are not subjected to or on the other hand if abled persons are given certain advantages over persons with disabilities, will only amount to some sort of discrimination.
Then again it should be noted that under the Labour Act of Ghana sections 52 states
1. Subject to subsection (2), a person with disability in employment may be transferred to another job within the same undertaking if the other job can be regarded in the light of all relevant circumstances as a corresponding job.
2. The relevant circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) in relation to a person with disability include
(a) The person’s qualifications;
(b) The person’s physical condition;
(c) The person’s place of residence; and
(d) Whether the transfer may worsen the conditions in which the person entered the employment.
164 151. Where it is necessary to train or retain a person with disability to overcome any aspect of his or her disability in order to cope with any aspect of the person’s employment, the employer may provide or arrange at the employer’s expense the training or retaining for the person.
This means that a person with disability if, could be trained into performing a particular work they find themselves, it is required of the employer to be able to give the employee with disability the necessary required training that will enable the disabled person to be able to perform their normal working duties. Ideally, it is not particularly clear on how this will be able to be applied in the area of professional sports participants, but we will need to acknowledge that in this era of technological advancements and developments, anything is possible and should be taken into context.
§6. Sports Personality Rights
1. Right to Privacy
165 152. Chapter 5 of Ghana’s 1992 constitution has been dedicated to human rights and freedom. The protection of private lives of individuals is captured in this chapter. However, in the enforcement of the law with respect to sports governing bodies it is almost non-existent, although due to the nature of these sports governing bodies it is likely that they will adapt to these laws.
166 153. What then could be said about human rights law and certain decisions that are taken by these sports governing bodies which actually go contrary to the human rights law? For instance, for the reason that some sports professionals tend to use drugs for the purpose of cheating during sporting competitions, there are instances where players are called upon and samples of either their urine or blood are taken so that tests could be conducted to ascertain whether or not they have taken drugs to enhance their chances of winning the competition. This certainly could be seen as infringing on the human rights of these players however it’s a known practice in the area of sports.
167 154. Section 18(2) of chapter 5 states that:
No person shall be subjected to interference with the privacy of his home, property, correspondence or communication except in accordance with law and as may be necessary in a free and democratic society for public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the protection of health or morals, for the prevention of disorder or crime or for the protection of the rights or freedoms of others. On the other hand, even though this can be related to infringements of the human rights of the person, what is usually
the practice of the day is for the clause to be infused in the contract of the particular professional player making it legally binding on them. The governing bodies of the various sporting sectors have accustomed to this practice with the notion of trying to organize competitions that will be practically fair, so that participants may not use any substances that will enhance their chances as against other participants of the game.
§7. Social Security
168 155. The National Pensions Act 2008 is the law that seeks to regulate all matters relating to social security in Ghana. This act was established to provide for pension reform in the country by the introduction of a contributory three-tier pension scheme; the establishment of a National Pensions Regulatory Authority to oversee the administration and management of registered pension schemes and trustees of registered schemes, the establishment of a Social Security and National Insurance Trust to manage the basic national social security scheme to cater for the first tier of the contributory three-tier scheme, and to provide for related matters.
169 156. There are distinctions in relation to the various contributions which are supposed to be made to the scheme. It is by law a requirement for every employer to make SNNIT contributions to the scheme, however it should be noted that some people especially sports professionals as stated before are usually self-employed, and as indicated the amount of contributions made to the scheme is affected by either a person is employed by someone or self-employed. All these contributions are made so that after retirement the person will have some retirement benefits to depend on.
Part III Doping and Sport
Chapter 1. The Ghanaian Experience
Part III, Ch. 1, The Ghanaian Experience
Part III, Ch. 1, The Ghanaian Experience
170 157. “Doping” is not a pleasant word. Anytime the word is mentioned, it connotes “cheating” and illegality. Doping must be eliminated from all sporting activities, whether professional or amateur. As such all the international bodies which matter in the organization of sports on the global scale have over the period taken steps to ensure that sporting activities are devoid of doping. Indeed, the punishment for athletes found to have engaged in doping have been very punitive.
171 158. This Chapter will discuss the legal regime on Doping in Ghana, with particular reference to how our various sports organizations have dealt with the matter.
§1. The IInternational FFramework
172 159. We can however not deal with the Ghanaian regime on doping without making reference to the various international agencies which are at the forefront of the fight to eliminate doping in sports.
173 160. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established in 1999 with a mission to lead a collaborative worldwide movement for doping-free sport for all athletes in member countries. WADA was established in response to the doping scandal which rocked the sporting world during the 1998 Olympics. The Lausanne Declaration on Doping forms the basis of the objectives of WADA. The rules and regulations which govern the activities of WADA is contained in the World Anti-Doping Code. WADA expects member countries to establish National Anti-Doping Organizations which will spearhead the implementation of the code.
174 161. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the international agency with the responsibility of overseeing international athletic competitions. It was the first international agency to ban doping in sports. The IAAF has since the 1920s being at the forefront of fighting doping in sports. It has adopted Rules and Regulations to ensure that athletes do not engage in doping and those who flout these rules and regulations are severely punished.
175 162. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is another international body which strives to eliminate doping in sports. It works with other international agencies to ensure that all events organized under their auspices are doping free.
176 163. All the international federations and member states under the IOC are supposed to be signed on to the WADA code thus ensuring that the phenomenon of doping in sports is combated and sports men and women compete fairly.
177 164. All these international agencies have their own rules and regulations aimed at combating the doping phenomena in sports and to ensure that sports men and women compete fairly.
§5. The Legal Regime of Anti-Doping in Ghana
178 165. In 2013, the Department of Anatomy of the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Cape Coast conducted a research into the knowledge of a group of sportsmen about doping in Ghana. The results showed that only 36.3% were of the opinion that the Sports Authorities in Ghana were not doing enough on the anti-doping front. The statistics cannot be far from true.
The statistics is revealing for two reasons:
a. There is no domestic legal regime to regulate doping in sports in Ghana although Ghana as a member state of the IOC is signed onto the WADA code.
b. The only reported cases on doping involving Ghanaian Sports Personalities happened outside Ghana; if there has been an incident in Ghana, that is yet to be reported in the Ghanaian media.
§6. Domestic Legislation on Anti-doping in Ghana
179 166. To put it bluntly, there are no domestic legislation on anti-doping in Ghana. The primary legislation for regulation of sporting activity in Ghana is the Sports Act, 2016. This law has no provision on anti-doping.
180 167. Ghana presently does not have a National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO). The Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) has been at the forefront of anti-doping activities in Ghana, with efforts being made by them to establish a NADO. From the beginning of 2018, lots of efforts have been made to ensure that a NADO is established before the end of the year; this is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Sports in Ghana, through its representative on the Regional Anti-Doping Agency board. The NADO will be made up of representatives from selected stakeholders in the field including the Ghana Medical and Dental Council, General Legal Council, and Ghana Olympic Committee, just to name a few.
181 168. Ghana is however part of the Africa Zone VI Regional Anti-Doping Agency (RADO) which includes mostly Southern African countries. Through the RADO, Ghana has successfully trained professionals in the areas of doping control, education, therapeutic use exemption, and results management. These professionals currently undertake the anti-doping activities in Ghana so as to ensure adherence to the WADA code. So far, all Sporting Associations rely on the regime set up by WADA to curb the tide of doping in sports.
182 169. Associations of other Sporting Disciplines, with the assistance of RADO, have taken it upon themselves to educate their members on the anti-doping regime administered by the various international sporting authorities.
183 170. There have been only 4 cases of reported/documented doping incidents involving Ghanaian Sportsmen. Interestingly, none of these cases of doping were discovered in Ghana. This author is however aware of some doping incidents in Ghana, which though discovered by the GOC, have not been published ostensibly to protect the image of the sports in Ghana and assist the athletes recover from such trauma. Athletes who are however caught involved in doping are dealt with according to the rules established in the WADA code.
Part IV Sport and Commerce
Chapter 1. Private Regulation
Part IV, Ch. 1, Private Regulation
Part IV, Ch. 1, Private Regulation
§1. Introduction.
184 171. Sports has evolved throughout the years from being just a physical leisure activity to a formalized sector that creates employment and revenue for citizens and country. The development of sports has necessitated the creation of regulations that comprise of core, relatively invariant rules agreed to by the stakeholders of the sector.
185 172. The rules can be classified under Public Regulations or Private Regulations. This Chapter seeks to focus on the Private Regulations governing sports and commerce.
§2. Difference Between Public and Private Regulations.
186 173. Ghana has a thriving sports sector with excellent sportsmen and athletes that compete on the international front. However, the focus of the country tends to tilt heavily on football than compared to other sports and therefore the focus on this chapter would be mainly on football.
187 174. Sports interplays with different aspects of society and therefore various laws would apply to the sector such as the Contracts Act where sports men have to enter into contracts with clubs, the Sale of Goods Act where clubs engage in sale and purchase contracts, to mention but a few. However, the Sports Act, 2016 Act was enacted to serve as the specific enactment to cover Sports in Ghana. This falls under Public regulations governing sports, as it is an enactment by parliament whilst other rules and regulations set by private and independent bodies constitute private regulations.
188 175. What therefore is the difference between Public and Private Regulations? Private Regulations also known as Self-regulation is defined as a set of private norms that have been established, sometimes in collaboration with others, by those who are bound by these rules, their representatives or an overarching body and these norms being enforced. Self-regulation might also be defined as a framework in which societal actors to a certain extent accept responsibility for establishing and/or applying and/or enforcing such rules, if applicable, within a legislative or legal framework.
189 176. Public regulation on the other hand is a broad concept as well. I refer to public regulation as regulation that is adopted by national or international regulatory bodies, which enjoy direct or indirect (democratic) legitimacy under a national constitution or (international) treaty.
190 177. Applying these definitions to the sports sector in Ghana, public regulations governing Sports would be the Sports Act of Ghana enacted in 2016. This Acthas officially laid to rest the Sports Act, 1976 (SMCD 54), which had hitherto influenced and directed the development, promotion and growth of sports in Ghana over the last four decades.
191 178. The current Sports Act was enacted as a response to a clear evolution in the sector which was not covered by the repealed law and secondly due to the governmental resolve to focus on global trends in establishing ‘sport business ‘as a thriving industry for the nation. Prior to the passage of the new Sports Act, the JOE AGGREY COMMITTEE was set up to formulate new strategies towards enhancing the development of the sports sector. It was an 11-member committee by the then Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Honourable Joe Aggrey. It was set up to review the then existing National Sports Bill to promote and develop sports in Ghana. They submitted their reports in 2002 to the late Honourable Edward Osei- Kwaku, Minister for Youth and Sports.
192 179. The Sports Act also gives the Minister the mandate to create regulations to compliment the Act and also encourages various sport teams and individual Sports to enact their own regulations and constitutions in so far as they are not in contradiction of the Act.
193 180. That being said, despite the existence of the Sports Act which unlike the previous Act now leaves the liberty to various sports to decide to form associations, there are various private legislations that have been enacted to govern how the various sports associations, clubs and teams should be created, operated and managed.
194 181. In Ghana as previously stated, the focus is largely on football and the sport is notably more structured than other sporting activities. The regulatory body governing the sport is the Ghana Football Association and this body is set up in accordance with the Sports Regulations, 1976, L.I 1088 but is deemed to be a Private Organization as it is independent of the government from Article 2 of the GFA rules. There also exists the Ghana Boxing Association which is the Association that is in charge of the management and control of boxing in Ghana and also has its sets of rules and regulations that all agents, promoters, referees and boxers are mandated to abide by. It is however worthy to note that unlike many other countries such as England very few local or private football clubs have their own set of rules and these clubs simply rely on the GFA rules, the GBA rules and any rules created by the overarching bodies and the association that govern them.
§3. What the Private Rules Say on Sports and Commerce.
195 182. The Private sector of sports is headed by the various associations and the rules formulated by these associations, from the distinction earlier made between the private and public sector, would be deemed as private regulations on sports.
196 183. The Ghana Football Association rules cover many areas in football. The rules clearly state which tournaments the football teams are to engage in and what they are prohibited from participating. Under article 4 it states that, the tournaments approved by the GFA include the Premier League, Division One League, GHALCA Top 4 tournament, F. A. Cup Competition, Regional Leagues – 2nd Division,3rd and 4th Division Leagues, Juvenile Leagues,Women’s Football Leagues, Friendly Matches (domestic and international),Gala, The Super Cup,Zonal and other Middle Leagues and any other competition and matches organized or approved by the Association. Furthermore, under article 15 it provides that any venue to be used for a match ought to receive prior approval from the GFA. It goes on to state the requirement of player licenses during every game and regulates the appointment of referees and match commissioners. Under article 26, as well, it states that all players have to be registered and put on the database of the Association by the National Secretariat before allowed to participate in any tournament.
197 184. Finally, on the rules governing the formation of sports contracts it is mandated under article 30 that every player has to sign an agreement with the club he is associated with and a copy of which would be deposited at the association. Transfer negotiations by the GFA rules are in accordance with FIFA Regulations and involve three (3) parties, the player, the club he wishes to leave and the new club he intends to join. It also goes on to prescribe sanctions in event that these rules are breached.
198 185. All local football clubs ascribe to these rules and very few create their own rules. Teams like Kotoko and Accra Hearts of oak that are registered as limited liability companies and not just a clubs, are of the view that a Constitution is not relevant but rather the Company’s own Regulations.
199 186. Under the Ghana Boxing Association, regulations have been put in place to also govern the boxing industry. For example, titles will be declared vacant if a champion is unable or unwilling to defend his title after the expiration of four months from the date of winning the title or one’s last defence of the title. The Authority would therefore select two boxers to meet for the vacant title, according to information gathered from the secretariat of the GBA. Also, a champion would not be required to defend his title until the expiration of four months from the date of winning or successfully defending his title.
200 187. Similarly, there are rules that are formulated by the various associations governing various sports such as Tennis, Basketball and Hockey. However, these associations are deficient due to the lack of finance by the government to enable them develop the sports. The individual teams, clubs, or management of individual sports on the other hand also fail to have their own set of rules to abide by and simply rely of the rules of the various associations.
§4. Comparison of Ghanaian Private Regulations with England.
201 188. England compared to Ghana and to the rest of the world is ahead in leaps and bounds when it comes to sports. This is highly because of the great investment by the Government in equal measure in both team and individual sports as well as the great source of investment and income from the private sector. Secondly, it is noted that the country can boast of a properly structured and regulated sporting sector that formalizes the sport and makes it not only a leisure activity but also a sector that generates income. For example despite the FA rules and the laws of the game of England that govern the fixing of matches, acquiring licenses as well as contracts between the players and the various football clubs, the individual clubs have also taken great steps to create and implement their own set of rules governing the clubs, management and even supporters in accordance with the public regulations and association regulations.
202 189. For example the Manchester United Football club does not only have a constitution that governs how the club operates but also has a constitution that governs the supporters of the club and even carries sanctions for supporters that commit varying degrees of offences that bring the name of the team into disrepute such as; Drinking alcohol on the coach, Committing any act of violence, Selling a ticket to an unauthorized source without permission of the Branch Secretary, Failing to attend the requisite number of meetings, using excessive foul language.
203 190. These similar arrangements can also be seen in constitutions such as that of the Chelsea Football club that also operates as a Company that has their constitution incorporated in their regulations and has provisions governing the use of profits solely to promote the objects of the club as well as exempting the members from liability in event of the club winding up. The constitution also governs how a meeting is convened, how decisions are made and how people are elected to take up leadership positions.
§5. Recommendations and Conclusion.
204 191. It is evident that Ghana has a long way to go to create a stabilized private sector in sports and the creation of more regulation can go a long way to create a better structure for the sports sector in entirety.
205 192. Firstly, the Government and various associations should ensure that the Associations are indeed independent of the Government so as to enable them develop the private sector of sports. Currently, though independent, these Associations tend to receive funding from government to run their activities. This clearly muddies the waters as to whether these associations ae indeed independent properly so called.
206 193. There should be the implementation of international and national best practices in the governance of sports and sports bodies, including enacting more regulations to address issues such as the provision of equal, non-discriminatory, and safe environment for the development of all sports.
207 194. The Associations, which serve as overarching bodies as well, should create regulations that encourage Public private partnerships and participation in sports development and to encourage at least a 50% private contribution to the sector. In this way, Ghana can slowly rise to be a global sports hub for not just West Africa but the entire Continent.
208 195. Finally, the various teams should enact laws that deter and tackle sports fraud and uphold fair play and sport integrity.
209 196. These rules when implemented would help improve not only Sports but also Commerce and Industry in Sports.
Chapter 2 Public Regulation
Part IV, Ch. 2, Public Regulation
Part IV, Ch. 2, Public Regulation
§1. Merchandizing
i. Introduction
210 192. Merchandising in sports today is a sector where various clubs and sporting associations are taking advantage. While merchandising may not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of sport management, it is actually a very important part of the job. In fact, merchandising is a multibillion-dollar industry in the sports world and brings in a lot of money for teams through the sale of hats, shirts, jerseys, and more. Sports globally are sine qua non merchandising and since the beginning of the millennia, merchandising has become a venture that is totemic of the financial boom in sports.
211 193. This part will look at the sports of merchandizing, how various clubs and sporting associations across the globe are taking advantage of merchandizing, the effect (benefit and impact) of merchandizing on the finances of clubs; merchandizing in Ghana sports; and a comparative study of merchandizing in Europe. The article will end with recommendations as to how to modernize and transform the Ghana football industry with merchandizing as the bedrock of such transformation.
ii. The Sports of Merchandizing
212 194. This is the act of advertising, displaying, marketing and/or promoting the sale of goods by their presentation in particularly retail outlets. They are basically branded products used to promote a sporting club or association to the extent that the club or association becomes a household name, thereby increasing its popularity and financial gains. Clubs across the world have retail outlets in their stadia where such goods are displayed and sold to the fans. Managers who know their job normally work with persons who have the skill and competence in marketing of products.
213 195. It is a distinct area of management parallel to the management of the sport activity itself. For instance, in football, merchandizing is done in such a way that its operations has no conflict with the act of playing the ball, but has everything to do with the sustenance of the game of football. Well managed football clubs with a serious merchandising management stand to gain financially and rely on such financial power house to run the football in terms of payment of salaries of players, managerial staff, technical and other staff engaged in the business of football.
214 196. It is therefore not surprising that football clubs across Europe with serious merchandizing base are doing so well financially and have become a safe haven for most players from middle and third world countries. The sale of Paul Pogba’s Manchester United replica Jersey in the first three weeks of arrival was estimated at almost £200, 000,000.00 that was 100% more than his purchase price from Juventus in 2016. According to Marca, Cristiano Ronaldo controls about 40% of the sale of replica shirts in Spain reaching into billions of dollars for Real Madrid.
215 197. Clubs and sporting associations across the world especially Europe, are taking advantage of merchandizing and are making billions of dollars in this industry. The question to ask is why can’t associations and clubs in Africa adopt the same techniques and skills to improve their sporting activities? Before, during, and end of season events to display the products and goods of the sporting clubs will be a great idea for clubs to consider in order to rake in more funds for the management of the club.
iii. Merchandizing in Ghana Sports
216 198. This part will consider merchandizing in Ghana sports with a critical look at any legal or regulatory document that governs sports in Ghana, whether or not such legal or regulatory document makes provision for merchandizing and the manner in which it should be conducted. It will also look at the top two football clubs in Ghana (Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko), whether their private regulations make provisions for merchandizing, if not; whether the clubs have on their own organized any event in the past few years geared towards marketing or advertising or selling the products of the club to the general public; whether or not these clubs have retail outlets anywhere in the country where their goods are displayed or sold to the general public or fans.
iv. Legal and Regulatory Framework
217 199. The Statute of the Ghana Football Association does not make provision for merchandizing in any manner or form. It is silent on the organization of events geared towards promoting the clubs that joins the association. Article 2 of the Statutes of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) states that the GFA is a private organization of an associative nature, incorporated under the Companies Act of Ghana, 1963, Act 179 as a Company Limited by Guarantee. Any association with the interest of its members at heart should have considered various modes of promoting such interest with the view of advancing and seeking the financial wellbeing of its members. No one single provision makes any plan of such nature.
218 200. A look at the website of the GFA also gives the impression that the governing body of Ghana football has never considered organizing events in the nature of merchandizing to help promote the various clubs within the association. Let me hasten to add that, it not the duty of a governing body to organize events of such nature for any club, however, it is only prudent that a governing body interested in the course of its members will adopt initiatives and be creative in order to boost the financial base of the members. It is also prudent for the governing body to lay down regulations to manage the business of merchandizing to avoid unfair competition among the members of the Association.
219 201. That notwithstanding, it is incumbent upon the clubs, the management and technical team to take responsibility, plan and devise means of generating income for their clubs. The wheels of football run on the oil of money. Most football games have been cancelled or postponed because the visiting team could not pay for travelling expenses (fuel cost, hotel/accommodation, feeding, etc.) that come with the beautiful game of football. Post 2010, three teams, which won the premier league in Ghana and/or qualified for African games, could not participate in the African champions league or the CAF Confederations cups for lack of funds. It was such an embarrassing moment for Ghana football, which called for a secondary look at football management in the country.
220 202. There is also the Sports Act of Ghana, which makes no provision of merchandising or event organization with the aim of promoting the various sporting clubs in the country. What is shocking from this Act is section 27, which seeks to punish persons who engage in ambush marketing. The law makers forgot to include regulations for sport events organization but included punishment for persons who takes advantage of sport games to advertise or market their wares. In any event, that provision will remain unenforced and inactive for generations to come because the idea of ambush marketing will only become popular where there is a corresponding legal means of marketing and promoting the sale of the products and services of clubs,
v. Merchandizing by Football Clubs
221 Let us now consider how the two top clubs in the country have managed to survive.
Kumasi Asante Kotoko
222 203. There is no mention of merchandizing in the regulations of the great Asante Kotoko. A club with a big history, winning the African champions league and dominating the Ghana premier league cannot boast of a single event organized in a single year with the aim of promoting and/or marketing the products of the clubs. The only thing interesting on the official website of the club is the publication made on the 4th of April 2018 indicating the resurgence and/or the resurrection of the Kotoko express. It is a step in the right direction as a means of generating some form of income for the club.
223 204. There is no retail outlet specifically registered in the name of Asante Kotoko, which sells the wears of the club, however, there are shops scattered across the country privately owned by individuals who may not have any allegiance to Kotoko but sells the products of various clubs stretching to European clubs. Such sales are for their own private gains and not that of the club. It is a shame to add that, retail outlets across the country are more interested in selling the products of European clubs than that of Ghanaian clubs. There is apathy towards the organization of football in the country which has arisen as a result of the growing corrupt practices that occur in the game of football in Ghana, the poor nature of games, lack of quality players and the advent of the media broadcasting European leagues, which portrays a sharp contrast in the way football is organized and managed.
Accra Hearts of Oak
224 205. The case is no different with Accra Hearts of Oak save to say that their website displays news of their rivalry with Asante Kotoko. This club cannot even boast of a newspaper to officially sell their news to fans and the general public. Merchandizing has never been part of the business of clubs generally in the country and it will be a step in the right direction towards financial independence of clubs in Ghana. This poor management of clubs in Ghana leads us to discuss and learn from how the Europeans have managed their clubs with merchandizing at the heart of it, making us desirous and eager to always patronize their games.
vi. Comparative Analysis
225 206. This part will do a comparative study of merchandizing in Europe paying particular attention to selected football clubs in Europe to ascertain how they conduct the business of merchandizing. According to the European football merchandising report 2010, the retail revenue for all products fetched the ten leagues across Europe some 2.1 billion Euros with the top ten clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, AC Milan, raking home 1.2 billion Euros, which constituted more than half of the total amount.
a. The English FA
226 207. The FA does not have as part of its rules and regulations the business of merchandising, however, a check of the website of the English FA shows that merchandising plays a key role to the financial success of the FA. The FA’s merchandising focuses on the national teams and not the clubs. Merchandising at the club level is the sole responsibility of the clubs and their merchandising team. There is the sale and/or promotion of the sale of all kinds of products from adults to kids of all national sports wears.
b. Football Clubs in Europe
227 208. Chelsea hosts one of the biggest annual events on sports merchandising and licensing show. It has become the place where various European clubs and sports associations come to display and sell their products to their fans. This year’s event will take place on November 13th at the Stamford Bridge where Chelsea will open their doors to sports teams, brands and retailers to create new relationships with a host of licensees, suppliers and service providers. This event is a one-stop shop for those in the sport merchandise industry. The event is expecting 115 participation where exhibitors will showcase an extensive and diverse range of product and services. Chelsea has retail outlets in over 10 European Countries.
228 209. The case is no different at Manchester United where merchandising is part of the game of football at Old Trafford. All kinds of sport products and services associated with the club are promoted, ranging from the sale of replica jerseys, phone covers, hats, football boots, images of the football players, post cards with inscriptions of the club, etc. This fetches a lot of money for the Club. The European football merchandising report places Manchester United as the 6th highest earner of income generated from sport merchandising.
229 210. At the top of sport merchandising in Europe is Real Madrid football club, which rakes in a lot of cash from the promotion and sale of wears of the club. The players are known as ‘the galacticos’, and through the sale of replica jerseys of players alone, the club is highest earner of income from merchandising in the world.
230 211. These European clubs have annual events they organize where different products and services are promoted and sold off, raking in billions of dollars for their club management and maintenance and until clubs in Ghana and Africa for that matter learn from these great ideas, our sport will continue to remain unattractive and patronage will continue to decline. Suffice to add that, if care is not taken, there will be a fast decline and collapse of football in Ghana due to poor organization and lack of innovative ideas to generate income for the clubs. Merchandising is the panacea for the problems that threaten the beautiful game of football in Ghana.
7. Recommendations
231 212. The following recommendations are made for the GFA and the various football clubs and sport associations registered under the laws of Ghana:
1. In the absence of Competition Act for Ghana, the GFA and NSA should develop rules and regulations for the business of merchandising to avoid unfair competition among sport clubs.
2. The GFA and the National Sports Authority (NSA) should take the lead in promoting the sale of products and services of the National sport teams
3. The GFA and NSA should establish retail outlets in every district capital in the country where national sports wears and products will be promoted and sold.
4. The GFA and NSA should organize annual sports merchandise events with the aim of bringing all sporting clubs in the country together to promote the sale of their goods and services.
5. Sport clubs in the country should open retail outlets at their home grounds to advertise and promote their goods and services.
6. Clubs should focus on opening more retail outlets in every regional capital where quality replica jerseys of players are sold, post cards bearing the image of the club, phone cases with the logo and colours of the club, jogging suits of clubs, images of iconic players of the club, club magazines, hats, etc.
7. Clubs should host pre- season events with merchandizing as the focus.
8. Clubs can host end of season events with merchandizing as the focus.
8. Conclusion
213. Merchandizing if taken seriously in Ghana sports will become the cure for the fast decline and lack of interest in especially the football league. Today major European clubs are successful because of the hard work invested in the business of merchandizing. Apart from the sale of ticket to fans to watch the game, and other financial donations by die hard supporters of the various clubs, no club can boast of a proper sponsorship deal or package, that management can proudly rely on to run the affairs of the club. Sports merchandizing is the surest way of attaining that financial independence that clubs across the country yearn for. If Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak want to be the real Madrid or Chelsea of Ghana, then management should seriously consider the business of sports merchandizing.
§2. Ownership of Clubs
i. Introduction
232 214. An attempt will be made under this topic to discuss ownership of clubs in Ghana, particularly football clubs. It will first look at the legal framework for ownership and registration of football clubs, it will then consider the issue of registration of the clubs as companies under the laws of Ghana. Further, it will discuss club registration with the Ghana Football association. The paper will conclude by providing a table of the various football clubs participating in the 2017/2018 and their owners.
ii. Legal Framework for the Ownership and Registration of Ghanaian Football Clubs
233 214. Ghanaian Football Clubs are registered and run either as Limited Liability Companies or as Companies Limited by Guarantee. The Clubs, before they are recognized as Football Clubs must meet two sets of requirements. These requirements are;
a. They must first be registered as Companies under the Laws of Ghana.
b. They must be registered with the Ghana Football Association.
iii. Registration as Companies under the Laws of Ghana
234 215. In Ghana, the Companies Act of Ghana, 1963 Act 179 governs the registration of Companies. Section 14 of the Act 179 outlines the procedure for the formation of Companies. The Football Club must deliver to the Registrar of Companies a proposed copy of the Regulations of the Club. Per section 16 of the Companies Act of Ghana, the Regulations of the Company, (in this case the Football Club) shall state:
1. The name of the Football Club
2. The nature of business
3. That the football club has all the powers of a natural person of full capacity except the powers that are expressly excluded by the Regulations
4. The names of the first directors of the company
5. That the powers of the directors are limited
6. That the liability of members is limited for a Football Club limited by shares or guarantee.
7. In case the Football Club has shares, the Regulations shall state the number of shares with which the football club is to be registered.
8. In case the football club is limited by guarantee the Regulations shall contain provisions to the effect that;
a. The income and property of the club shall be applied towards the promotions of the clubs’ objects and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly to the members of the club except as therein permitted
b. Each member shall undertake to contribute to the assets of the club in the event of the club being wound up.
c. Properties of the club remaining after winding up shall be transferred to some other company limited by guarantee and having the same objects of the club or to a charity determined by the members prior to the dissolution of the club.
Per section16 (6) of Act 179, the Regulations may also contain any other lawful provisions relating to the constitution and administration of the company.
235 216. In accordance to Section 14 of Act 179, when the Registrar of Companies is satisfied that the football club has met all the requirements to be registered as a football club under the laws of Ghana, the Registrar shall register the Regulations. Upon Registration, the Registrar shall certify under his seal that the Football Club is a company incorporated under the laws of Ghana. From the date of registration, the Football Club attains the status of a Body Corporate. The Registrar then inserts a notice in the Gazette stating the issuance of the certificate to the football club. This certificate, or the Gazette shall be conclusive proof the Football Club has been duly registered and incorporated under the laws of Ghana. Per section 14(f) of Act 179, no proceedings shall be brought in any Court to cancel or annul such registration.
iv. Registration with the Ghana Football Association
236 217. Article 2 of the Statutes of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) states that the GFA is a private organization of an associative nature, incorporated under the Companies Act of Ghana, 1963, Act 179 as a Company Limited by Guarantee. Per Article 10 of the GFA Statutes, the Football Clubs in Ghana that form part of the membership of GFA is the Clubs that belongs to:
a. Premier Division
b. Division One
c. Regional Leagues
d. 2nd Division
e. Women’s Football
f. 3rd and 4th Division
g. Juvenile
The Statutes further outlines the conditions and procedures a prospective club must fulfill in order to become a member of the GFA. The conditions as stated in Article 11 of the GFA Statute include;
1. The club must apply to the GFA for a membership status.
2. The application must be accompanied by a declaration that the Head Office of the club is in the Republic of Ghana.
3. The application must be accompanied by a declaration that the official home matches of the club will be played in Ghana.
4. A declaration that the legal composition of the club guarantees that it can make decisions required by its affiliation to the GFA independent of an external entity.
5. Only the GFA, CAF or FIFA can decide to exempt a candidate (club) from one or more of the above conditions.
In accordance to Article 12 of the GFA Statute, after a club fulfills the conditions that are required by law to be registered with the GFA, the club then follows the procedure to obtain the status of a member. The procedure is as follows;
1. The application for membership must be submitted in writing to the Regional Football Association.
2. Every other application for membership to the GFA must be submitted in writing to the General Secretary.
3. A copy of the club’s Regulations/Constitution must accompany every application.
4. The application must be accompanied by a list of the club’s officials, specifying those who are authorized signatories with the right to enter into legal agreements with third parties. Any changes of officials and authorized signatories must be communicated in writing to the General Secretary within seven (7) days of the said change.
5. The application must be supported by a declaration that the club agrees to be bound by the statutes, regulations, and directives in their current form and subject to later changes as well as the decisions of FIFA, CAF, WAFU, GFA and the leagues of which it is composed.
6. The application must be supported by a declaration that the club undertakes to ensure that its own members respect the Statutes of the GFA and any other person (player or official) with whom it has a contract.
7. The application must be supported by a declaration that the club recognizes the authority of the Dispute Resolution Committee set up under these statutes in respect of dispute not within the jurisdiction of the Disciplinary, Appeals and the Players’ Statutes Committees of the Association.
8. The application must be supported by a declaration that the club will not resort to the ordinary law courts for redress and will limit itself to the internal dispute resolution mechanisms instituted by the Association.
9. The application must be supported by a declaration that the club undertakes to organize or participate in friendly matches only with the prior consent of the GFA.
10. The application must be accompanied by a copy of the minutes of the club’s last general assembly or constitutional meeting and the last year’s audited accounts, where appropriate.
After all these requirements have been met by a club desiring to be a member of the GFA, the GFA congress reserves the sole right to decide on the affiliation of members to the GFA. This is provided for in Article 13 of the statutes of the GFA.
v. Conclusion
237 The procedure of registering a club in Ghana is quit cumbersome which might frustrate some interested investors from injecting funds to promote football in the country. That notwithstanding, any person with the interest and desire to owning a football club in Ghana must as a matter of law, go through the requirements aforementioned
§3. Sports and Commerce
i. Introduction
238 218. We cannot be oblivious to the fact that sports today has become a major business in Ghana. The global relevance of sports has developed from a socio-cultural to an economic signification and, in a similar vein, the balance between these elements have played a crucial role in the development of contemporary sports in Ghana. Sports in Ghana is no longer seen merely as a recreational tool but as a commercial activity beneficial to the major participants in the industry including sports clubs, sports associations, media houses, marketing and advertising agencies sponsoring brands and companies as well as the athletes themselves.
239 219. As every commodified venture requires some form of marketing to reach the wider audience or clients, so does the business of sports. As such, the use of tools of marketing such as broadcasting and advertisement, merchandising, franchising and in recent times, gaming and digital marketing is playing a major role in the development of sports and sports law. In a 2014 survey, the market for sports events globally was valued at $40 billion with a projection of $91billion by the year 2017. There is therefore a wider beneficial market for sports and this paper will consider Ghana’s attempts and contribution to the increasing numbers.
240 220. According to Ragonnaud, there are three key revenue streams in football leagues and these include: Match day revenues (mainly tickets sales), broadcasting revenues (usually negotiated by the leagues or by clubs) and sponsorship and other commercial revenues (such as branding on T-shirts and sale of jerseys). The Regulation of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) lists as part of its sources of income gate shares from matches, sponsorships and broadcasting rights.
241 221. This chapter will consider two of the major streams of sports revenue; Media and Television rights (broadcasting revenue) and sponsorship. It will address the need to provide a legal framework to regulate the sale of broadcasting rights and sponsorship in Ghana to promote free and fair competition amongst sports broadcasters and sponsors and an effort to revamp contemporary sports in Ghana.
ii. Media and Television Rights
242 222. Broadcasting (media and Television) rights is and continues to be major stream of revenue for professional sports both internationally and locally. The live streaming of sports in Ghana has gained considerable momentum over the years as the country advances in liberalizing its media and advancing in digital technology. The majority of Ghanaians today have the comfort of sitting at home and watching televised segments of sporting events right on the television sets. There is no longer the need to travel to sport stadiums or other sporting arenas just to have the luxury of watching sporting events. Football for instance, is the dominant televised sport in Ghana and it attracts a massive number of T.V audience. With time, there have emerged a great number of private owned pay-TV stations competing with the hitherto free-to-air television stations for the exclusive right to broadcast sports activities, and in particular, football leagues in Ghana.
iii. Legal Framework for the Sale of Broadcasting Rights in Ghana
243 223. There is currently no known statutory pronouncement on the distribution of sports broadcasting rights in Ghana. The Sports Act, 2016 (Act 934) makes no provision for the distribution of broadcasting rights in sports. It is also worth noting that Ghana currently has no competition laws applicable to the business of broadcasting of sports activities in the country and the issue of infringement of content rights is one that is strictly addressed.
a. Acquisition of Broadcasting Rights
244 224. Article 82 of the GFA Statutes designates the GFA the exclusive ownership of broadcasting rights in respect of live matches deferred or excerpts (highlights), including the commercialization and distribution of all matches coming under its jurisdiction. The exploitation of broadcasting rights in Ghana is thus the prerogative of the GFA. The GFA has no rules and guidelines for the exploitation of these rights and often contracts with the broadcasters at its full discretion and without and major restrictions from competition authorities.
225. In the UK for instance, the acquisition of broadcasting rights for the English Premiere League is by competitive bidding where the highest bidder takes the exclusive rights to broadcast and distribute this right. The same cannot be said of the GFA or the GPL. Broadcast rights are exclusively awarded by the GFA at its sole discretion and without the input of the various League Clubs.
226. StarTimes TV, a pay TV operator, acquired the media rights as official broadcasters of the Ghana Premier League in 2017 when it signed a 10-year deal with the GFA. StarTimes deal with the GFA included broadcasting rights for the Gala, the National Division One League, the MTN FA Cup League, the Ghana Women’s League and the Ghana Juvenile League. The GFA’s announcement of this arrangement with StarTimes came after Supersport announced its decision not to renew the Broadcast Rights Agreement for the Ghana Premiere League at the end of the season in 2016.
227. The value of TV rights today has seen progressive increment with the emergence of pay-TV as in contrast with free-to-air broadcasting. In other jurisdiction, broadcasting rights for sports, and particularly live football, have been characterized by competitive bidding among many TV operators thus resulting in the increment in the prices of acquiring these rights. In 2017, it was reported that Sky Sports, UK’s premier sports broadcaster faced the challenge of paying an extra £1.8bn for Premiere League Broadcast rights as a result of competition from Amazon. Sky had earlier paid £4.18bn for three seasons of the Premier League starting 2016-2017.
228. In Ghana, it is estimated that StarTimes paid an amount of $17.95million for its deal with the GFA. A greater part of this amounts often goes to the football clubs with the remainder going to the administration of the League.
b. Broadcasting Rights and Competition Laws
245 229. It is rather unfortunate that there are no national laws on competition when it comes to broadcasting of sports in Ghana. Indeed, a minor attempt was made in 2014, albeit arguably so, when under the Revised Broadcasting Bill, 2014, provision was made for the syndication of programs among local and foreign broadcasting services to among others, avoid dominance by one or a few broadcasting services and ensure fair competition in commercial broadcasting. By extension, the syndicated programs were to include national programs such as key sports events. This bill however is yet to see the light of day and in any event, it does not make any profound pronouncement on the competition in sports broadcasting worthy of provoking further analysis on the subject.
246 230. The existence of competition laws is beneficial not only to broadcasters of sports but also to consumers of sports events broadcast. The audience are unlimited in their access to the particular events that interest them and at what particular times. Currently in Ghana, media rights to sports are awarded on an exclusivity basis for a much longer duration and covering a great number of events. The right owner will in effect have the authority to license the right to other TV stations to telecast live matches. It is therefore not a surprise that breaches of these content rights of the official owners are an often occurrence in the country. Multimedia group reportedly obtained an interim injunction restraining some media houses, Angel TV and Angel FM, Silver FM and two others from infringing its broadcasting rights to the English Premiere League (EPL) and the English Football League Cup (EFL Cup) for the 2016/2017 season. In a like manner, MultiChoice Ghana Limited and SuperSports International sued Champion TV for infringing its rights to the EPL, the La Liga and the UEFA Champions Leagues for the 2015/2016 season.
247 231. The need for competition laws in the country or rules and regulations from the state regulator of sports, the National Sports Authority (NSA) will help clarify the scope of and application of these broadcasting rights for the benefits of major broadcasters and the general audience of sports.
§4. Sponsorship
248 232. Sponsorship is an avenue of sports marketing that reaps in a lot revenue for the major participants in the sector. Sponsorship in sports may usually take the form of monetary compensation or it may be the offering of some products or services in exchange for brand advertisement. According to Mullin, Hardy and Sutton sponsorship is “ the acquisition of rights to affiliate or directly associate with a product or event for the purpose of deriving benefits related to that affiliation or association.”
i. The Commercial Relevance of Sponsorship
249 233. This topic would be discussed from two major perspectives; the benefit of sponsorship as an income stream for sports organization or sports club and the benefit of sponsorship to the corporate entity or sponsoring brand.
250 234. Brand awareness and increment in sales is the ultimate benefit of sports sponsorship to the sponsoring brand or corporate entity. Brand awareness does not merely entail exposure of the brand to the target audience but also generating meaningful conversation with the audience about the brand. As a result, the sponsors are more involved in the image and display of the person or event being sponsored as much as they are concerned about the display of their brand. This is also important in the sense that it helps to reach out to a larger audience and attract sales to the sponsor. Many sports fanatics will be attracted to purchase the brands of kits displayed on the favourite footballer or athlete. It is also an effective publicity tool for the corporate entity or brands to increase its competitive advantage in the marketplace.
251 235. For the sponsored club, association or event, the key benefit of sponsorship is income generation. It is from the compensations received from these sponsorships that events such as the Premier League and Division League matches are funded. The administrations of the various Associations and Clubs also benefit from these sponsorship deals. Some sponsorship deals come with both cash and products for the benefit of the athletes. In 2014, Huawei had a deal with the Ghana Football Association worth $100,000 cash and products as sponsorship for participation in the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
ii. Legal and Regulatory Framework in Ghana
252 236. It is one of the non-regulated aspects of the business of sports. As a matter of fact, although sports authorities and organizations as well as football clubs rely on this source of revenue as funding for their activities, there is no single legislation that governs the market of sponsorship. It goes without saying, however, that in considering what goes into the terms of a sponsorship arrangement there are snippets of other laws that come to play in determining the obligations of the parties to these sports sponsorship arrangements, as for example laws of trademarks. The primary legislation regulating sports activities makes no provision on sponsorship. Neither are there any regulations or guidelines of the National Sports Authority pertaining to sponsorship.
253 237. The Constitution of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) establishes a Fundraising Sub-Committee tasked with the responsibility of sourcing for funds to finance the participation of Ghana in the Olympic and other international Games. In 2017, the GOC made calls on corporate entities to assist raise funds to sponsor Ghana’s only participant in the Winter Olympics 2018 in South Korea, Akwasi Frimpong. It is however not readily known to this author whether the sponsorship offered by Cocoa From Ghana to the athlete was the result of the efforts of the GOC. In 2016, the GOC secured a $120,000 sponsorship package from the Ghana National Petroleum Authorities (GNPC) towards Ghana’s participation in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. No such committee however exists for the GFA. Except that article 61 provides for a finance committee tasked with advising the GFA on other financial transactions and investments, it is not clear whether fundraising through sponsorship is included in this function. According to a research paper on sports sponsorship in Ghana, the GFA does not go out to seek for sponsorship. this task is instead outsourced to marketing companies and a percentage of the sponsorship compensation is given as commission to the external body.
iii. Football Sponsorship in Ghana
254 238. In Ghana, football seems to be the major sporting activity that rakes in the highest amount of sponsorship revenue. It is therefore appropriate to give it render a discussion on it in considering sport sponsorship in Ghana. Although Ghana’s disposition towards football sponsorship does not equal that of its international counterparts, there is no denying that the market for sports sponsorship has witnessed quite some growth over the years. That notwithstanding, there is still the need to put policies in place both at the national level and among the club level to ensure that this aspect of revenue sourcing is maximized to the best advantage of the game.
iv. Sponsorship of the Ghana Premiere League
255 239. Sponsorship for the Ghana Premiere League has often taken the form of title sponsorship, which entitles the sponsor to have its name on the League title. These title sponsors of the League are most often main sponsors for the League. ABC Golden Lager was the first official title sponsors of the Ghana Premiere League for three consecutive seasons commencing 1997. Subsequently, the League has had other title sponsors such as Kinapharma (2003-2004), Ghana Telecom (2004-2005 and 2005-2006), One Touch (2006-2007 and 2007-2008), Globacom (2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014). First Capital Bank is currently the title sponsors of the GPL after it signed a 5 years sponsorship deal worth $10million with the GPL for the 2014-2019 football seasons.
256 240. There are other sponsors such as jersey sponsors for the various top league football clubs. Commercial Sponsors such as NASCO provide products for the various awards of the League tournament such as “Man of the Match”, “Best footballer of the Year” and “Goal King”.
v. Sponsorship of Football Clubs
257 241. Winning performance is one of the key guarantees for securing sponsorship in Ghana and quite apart from the two top local clubs, Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oaks, the other teams are still struggling to secure sponsorship packages for participation to events. Apart from the major sponsors, one of the key forms of sponsorships for the various football clubs in Ghana is jersey or kit sponsorships. By this type of sponsorship arrangement, the sponsor, usually a corporate entity, has its logo or brand endorsed on the jerseys of the football club. The kit of the Black Stars, for instance, was sponsored by PUMA from 2005 until its expiration in 2014. It has been denied by the GFA that there was a monetary exchange for this sponsorship arrangement. Prior to 2005, the kit of the team was sponsored by Adidas (1957-2000) and by Kappa (2000-2005).
a. The Local Football Clubs
258 242. For the local football clubs in Ghana, its seems very little effort is put in raising revenue by way of marketing; especially in developing sponsors and in the aspect of merchandising. This part of the paper will consider the revenue
259 243. According to its website, the official club sponsors of Asante Kotoko SC are Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, MTN Ghana, Fidelity Bank, Supabets, Goil, Everpure and Herbalife Nutrition. MTN has been the official jersey sponsors of the club since 2010. Though the commercial terms of the sponsorship arrangement are not readily available, it has rumored that the sponsorship package is valued between Gh¢50,000.00 – Gh¢70,000.00 a month.
260 244. According to a research outcome, Jersey sponsorships for the English Premier League Clubs (20 clubs) stands at a combined total of £281.8 million for the 2017-2018 football seasons. Manchester United’s £47million a year deal with Chevrolet remains the biggest deal so far with Chelsea coming in second with their £40million deal with Yokohama tyres. The League Clubs are making more money through jersey sponsorships by extending the deals to what has become known as Sleeve Sponsorship. Chelsea has a £8million sleeve sponsorship deal with Alliance Tyres for the 2017-2018 football season. Liverpool has a sleeve sponsorship deal of £5million with Western Union. Apart from its £35million a year jersey sponsorship with Etihad Airways, Manchester City has a £7million sleeve sponsorship deal with Nexen Tire.
261 245. It is high time for the local clubs in Ghana to also implement policies that will allow them cash in on the benefits of sports sponsorships. It is rather an unfortunate incident that other league clubs have had to forego their participation in the league matches because of their failure or inability to secure financial backings. The rules must be made clear on sponsorship deals to prevent ambush marketing but it must also be more relaxed to allow the clubs have more sponsorship options.
vi. Conclusion
262 246. The emergence of the global phenomenon of digitization has revolutionized the commodification of sporting activities in world. Countries all over the world are advancing in their deliberate attempts at securing and sourcing funds from all avenues towards their sports industry. Ghana, on the other hand, is yet to cash in on this new trend. Sports in Ghana is muddled by the inaccessibility of funds to the League and to the Clubs. The country is still struggling to secure financial independence for its sporting sector. The need for laws inroads into this aspect of the sports cannot be over-emphasized neither can the need for rules and policies to promote fair competition.
A. Overmars, ‘‘Effecten van Gedragscodes: Twee Recente Cases’’, (2011) Bestuurswetenschappen.
Constitution of the Ghana Olympic Committee, available at, cited 7th July, 2018
Gary Jahn, “Civil Liability: an Alternative to Violence in Sporting Events”, 15 Ohio U. L. Rev. 243 (1994).
Ghana Boxing Authority Rules and Regulations.
Ghana Football Association (GENERAL) Regulations.
John Locke, “Two Treatises of Government” 1689
Marc Cavaliero and Michele Colucci (eds), Disciplinary Procedures in Football An International and Comparative Analysis Issue I-2017.
Mullin, B., Hardy, S., & Sutton, W. Sport Marketing. Published 2007 by Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics Publishers, 539.
Obiwole, Biola “An Investigative Study of Sponsorship in the Ghana Premier League”, thesis presented to Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, April 2015
Roger I. Abrams, “Sports Justice: The Law and Business of Sports (2010).” Sports Act 2016, Act 934.
Stephen J. Gulotta, Jr. “Torts in Sports-Deterring Violence in Professional Athletics, Fordham Law Review volume 48 Issue 5”
The Ghana Football Association Disciplinary Code.
The Ghana Football Association Regulations.
The Ghana Football Association Statutes.
The Revised Broadcasting Bills, available at, cited 7th July, 2018
The numbers here refer to paragraph numbers.
Assault Offences
Asante Kotoko
Accra Great Olympics
Criminal Liability
Civil Liability
Constructive Dismissal
Disciplinary Committee
Duty of Care
Dispute Resolution
Ethics Committee
FIFA Regulation
Governor Sir Frederick Hodgson
Ghana Rugby Association
Ghana Boxing Association
Ghana Hockey Association
Ghana Olympic Committee
Ghana Rugby association
Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA)
Hearts of Oak
Ministry of Youth and Sports
Medical Negligence
National sports Authority
Official Ceremonies
Parliamentary Select Committee
Ticket Racketeering
Third party influence
Unfair dismissal
Victoria Park
Vicarious Liability White paper
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

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