Five players and an official of relegated Premier League side Inter Allies have been slapped with a 24-months ban for failing to appear before the Disciplinary Committee of the Ghana Football Association amid a match fixing scandal that has rocked local football.
Goalkeeper Danso Wiredu Mensah, defenders Abdul Kadir Mohammed and Isah Ali , winger Alex Aso, forward Andy Okpe and goalkeepers' trainer Boye Joseph Markwei will serve a two-year ban for their roles on the messy scandal.
"That the under-listed players and Official of Inter Allies FC in the said match who failed to appear before the GFA Disciplinary Committee are hereby banned for 24 months each in accordance with Article 34.5(d)(i) of the Ghana Premier League Regulations." Ghana FA verdict read
Inter Allies defender Hashim Musah climbed off the bench to score two deliberate own goals in an attempt to foil an alleged match-fixing plot - and insisted his team congratulated him for spoiling the 'pre-agreed' scoreline during a league match against AshantiGold last year.
Musah came on the pitch for Eleven Is To One with the score at 5-0 and scored two own goals in the final 12 minutes before being subbed off as the match ended 7-0 on the final day of the season on July 11.
The defender confessed to the media that he intentionally score the own goal - which went viral on social media in a move to ruin what he believed was a pre-arranged result for betting reasons.
The match between AshantiGold and Inter Allies, which produced a cricket score of 7-0 in favour of the Miners, is being investigated by authorities over match-fixing allegations.
Hashim scored the six and seven goals against his own club and admitted that he scored those goals to destroy the planned bet on a specific outcome of the last game of the season with his club already relegated.
"I heard it in our hotel that a bet had been made for a correct scoreline of 5-1 against my club Inter Allies. I promised my coach that if he allows me to play from the bench, I will spoil the bet. And after the game, my team congratulated me" Musah told Kumasi FM.
“I decided to spoil that bet because I don’t condone betting." the centre back stressed.
His justification drew mixed reactions. While receiving praise for not condoning match-fixing, he has been criticized by others for deliberately putting the ball in his own net, leading to Ghana football being ridiculed on the global stage.
Officials and players of both teams have been took their turns in assisting the police to investigate the shameful conduct with authorities relying heavily on the claims of the defender.
AshantiGold finished the season 9th hence are still a Ghana Premier League club, meanwhile, Inter Allies have been relegated.
In 2007, Nania FC, Okwahu United, Great Mariners FC and Tudu Mighty Jets were demoted to the fourth division after they were found guilty of match-fixing.
Nania and Mariners were level on points in their group and needed to win their final matches to qualify for the country's top league.
Abedi Pele's Nania FC beat Okwawu United 31-0 while Great Mariners triumphed 28-0 over Mighty Jets in league games played earlier this year.
However, upon successful appeals, the four clubs maintained their second-tier status but severed one season bans.