The Chairman of the Division One League Board, Owuahene Acheampong, has expressed shock over the public declaration of the Group President of Groupe Nduom, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, that its subsidiary GN Bank will no longer sponsor the league.
He said the board had not received any official correspondence from the bank and argued that since the two were under a contract, the bank should have had prior discussions with the board before going public with its intentions, maintaining that the bank erred with such a conduct.
“We have not gotten any official letter from GN Bank, so I cannot comment. If you have sponsorship and we have a contract, at least you need to refer to us first. You cannot abrogate a contract just like that. It cropped up before, but I do not think that is the right way to go,” he told Class FM’s Desmond Decker on Monday May 30.
He explained: “It was a shock to me when I got the information from social media. I spoke with him twice yesterday and there was no such indication. I was on top of what happened at Sekondi when the coach was discharged from the hospital; I was monitoring.”
Dr Nduom instructed officials of GN Bank to suspend the sponsorship of the league via Facebook.
The entrepreneur and politician, in a post on Sunday May 29, cited “indiscipline, intimidation of opponents, and wanton disregard for human life and valuable property” as reasons for instructing the bank, to suspend the sponsorship after the first round of matches.
“Yesterday, the coach of Elmina Sharks FC was beaten mercilessly and could have been killed by supporters of opposing teams in Sekondi. Players and officials have gone through similar incidents at Bibiani and other league venues. In the case of the Bibiani incident, the referee in his own report stated that he delayed the end of the match long enough to award a penalty to the home team because he was afraid for his life. I am informed that the GFA is standing on a technicality to allow the home team to keep the points it gained this way,” parts of the message indicated.
“We need discipline in football just as we need it in our national life. We will not condone or reward illegality and indiscipline. We cannot achieve excellence without discipline.
“The GFA must act positively now. Or the suspension will turn into complete stoppage of sponsorship.”
Meanwhile the Managing Director of GN Bank, Issah Adam, has confirmed to Class Sports that indeed the bank was suspending its GHS2.1 million sponsorship deal with the second-tier league.
This decision, according to him, comes after the coach of Elmina Sharks was beaten to pulp by irate fans of Proud United.
“The statement was issued by the chairman and we stand by it. We will suspend the sponsorship until we see steps that the GFA [Ghana Football Association] is taking to bring sanity in the league,” he said.
He underscored the need for stiffer punishment for perpetrators of such acts that damage the image of the league.
Mr Adam continued: “The education has been done over and over with no positive results. So, it is time for the security agencies to arrest perpetrators of this act and then prosecute them. That is the only thing that will deter others from engaging in these acts of hooliganism at our stadia.”