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Palmer’s suit against GFA dismissed – CAS

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the case of Wilfred Kwaku Osei (alias Palmer) which challenged the decision of the GFA’s Normalisation Committee’s (NC) to disqualify him from contesting its Presidential elections.

The Swiss-based court in its September 1, 2020, ruling confirmed the decision of the GFA Elections to bar Palmer for the polls. Additionally, Palmer is to bear the cost of the arbitration. A spokesperson for Palmer’s campaign, Ebo Appiah said the decision of CAS was not a big blow because they were prepared for any outcome. He also discounted suggestions that the verdict was a justification of claims of Palmer’s integrity.

According to him, it would be too hasty to reach such a conclusion since the full ruling had not yet been released by CAS. He disclosed that Palmer was still in high-spirits because “it was not the first time he has been through such a thing”. “This litigation has come to an end and the football association must be allowed to work… We are going to give our 100% support to the current administration because if we had won we would have wanted them to give us that support,” Mr Appiah stressed.

What Palmer wanted from CAS

Through his legal representatives, Palmer wanted CAS to nullify the GFA Presidential elections pending the final determination of his case. However, the election went ahead and was won by Kurt Okraku. He also wanted a declaration that the respondent’s (GFA) Elections Committee’s decision contained in its letter dated the 4th day of October 2019 is null, void and of no effect.

Palmer wanted another declaration that the decision to declare him ineligible to contest the GFA Presidency was not justifiable and an order directed at the GFA to conduct fresh elections, giving each candidate a fair chance of contesting. All the reliefs and claims he sought from CAS were dismissed.

Why he was disqualified

In a statement last year, Palmer said the Normalisation Committee informed him that his application to contest the GFA Presidency was unsuccessful because he breached Article 33 (5) (c) of the GFA General Regulations and a decision of the Ethics Committee dated December 13, 2017.

The breaches relate to a refusal to pay the GFA 10 per cent of the transfer of striker Joseph Painstil to Hungarian top-flight side Ferencvarosi TC from Tema Youth in September 2017.

The NC also reportedly cited his comments after the Black Stars’ failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Palmer said Ghana would have qualified for the tournament if money was made available to pay unclassified and indemnity payments to referees.

Legal battle

For over 11 months, Palmer has been seeking justice at CAS after he was disqualified from the 2019 GFA Presidential elections.

On October 4, 2019, the Tema Youth President was disqualified on the count of two charges which include the failure to pay transfer commission to the football association as well as failing an integrity test.

After his disqualification by the Vetting Committee Palmer filed an appeal which was swiftly rejected.

He later filed an appeal against the decision of the Normalisation Committee at the Court of Arbitration for Sports.