A legal battle between the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and Great Olympics Football Club continues to delay the start of the Ghana Premier League.
A misunderstanding over a protest filed by Olympics against Bechem United after fielding an unqualified player in a game last season led the two parties to court.
While Olympics is not happy with the GFA Disciplinary Committee’s handling of the protest and its demands for points from the game, the GFA claims the Club failed to exhaust all internal procedures for the filing of the complaint, and therefore the club is liable for expulsion from the league.
Although the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Anthony Yeboah gave the two parties an opportunity to settle the matter out of court, the GFA and the club failed to reach an amicable solution after two meeting, with the parties accusing each other of taking entrenched positions.
The injunction has created an uncertainty in the Ghanaian football industry, with its attendant economic repercussions for all stakeholders, including the participating clubs, players, managers, advertisers and football lovers, among others.
The development brings into sharp focus the need for a conscious integration of Sports Dispute Mediation in Ghana’s sports industry.
The meeting between the two sides failed because of the absence of a trained, impartial mediator who could have facilitated the conversation between the two sides.
That notwithstanding, the parties still have a chance to seek the help of a professional mediator to aid the settlement of the dispute in an amicable, inexpensive, speedy and non-adversarial manner.
While litigation in court would only pronounce GFA or Olympics as either the winner or loser, mediation will ensure a win-win outcome for both parties.
An assessment of the comments from leaders of both the GFA and Olympics show that the two sides are not happy with the results of the ongoing litigation given the attendant cost, but the entrenched positions continue to keep them in the court.
But if they resort to mediation, a trained mediator, who is an impartial third party can help them to find common ground and end their impasse by reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.
By: Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com