Wilfred Kwaku Osei Palmer says he is still waiting for the ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sports. In a statement, his team explained, “Contrary to reports suggesting our lawyers have received the much anticipated ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). We wish to establish the fact that our lawyers are yet to receive the ruling from CAS.”
“CAS has not given any reason for the delay, but we are hopeful that in due course the ruling will be sent to all parties concerned.” The ruling was expected Tuesday, August 4, 2020 but as of Wednesday morning, August 5, 2020, it was still not out.
The genesis of this historic dispute was the refusal of the Tema Youth FC bankroller, Palmer, to pay 10 per cent of the transfer fee of his player, Joseph Paintsil, to the GFA.
Paintsil had been transferred from Ferencváros of Hungary to the Belgian side, Genk, in 2018 for a whopping three million euros, out of which the NC expected 300,000 euros to solve its problems. However, Palmer, who is abreast of the GFA Statutes, ignored the NC’s request on the grounds that the GFA did not deserve the said amount because it did not issue the ITC in the first place.
According to Palmer, it was FIFA which eventually issued an ITC to cement the player’s transfer to the Belgian club after the FA had failed to do so. Months later, the NC went ahead to disqualify Palmer, after he had gone through vetting, just like the other candidates who contested the presidency of the GFA. His other crime was for publicly advocating classified payments for the Black Stars, which case had long been dealt with by the GFA Ethics Committee.
Road to CAS
But since he was bent on proving his innocence, Palmer appealed against the decision, but that was dismissed by the NC.
That was what provoked the brainy Palmer to embark on that long-winding journey to the CAS headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland ‘to clear his name and protect his hard-earned reputation’, as he put it. No wonder his counsel, Thaddeus Sory, put forward a carefully prepared 60-page document before CAS to strengthen his client’s argument.
And how the long-standing legal luminary for the GFA became the solicitor for Palmer in this crucial case is equally baffling.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the beginning of this landmark case 10 months ago, with the GFA refusing to pay its share of the arbitration fee, forcing Palmer to cough up another 22,000 Swiss francs ($24,000) to settle that bill in order to save the case from being thrown out.
As if that was not enough, counsel for the GFA, Naa Odofoley Nortey, later challenged the eligibility of CAS to hear the case, but CAS insisted it had jurisdiction over the case per the GFA’s own statutes. Accordingly, CAS followed up to set July 17 as the date for its final ruling, sending shivers down the spine of all interested parties.
As stakeholders wait anxiously for the CAS ruling even before Friday, it is believed that the outcome could have far-reaching consequences on the direction of Ghana football.
Palmer, among other reliefs, was seeking the annulment of the decision on his appeal against his disqualification by the NC, a reversal of his disqualification, annulment of the October 25 GFA presidential election, and the conduct of fresh election with his inclusion in the lst of candidates.
Beyond all that, Palmer maintains that his highest motivation for spending a fortune in this mammoth legal tussle is to protect his hard-earned reputation.