The protest indicates that Sulley Muniru was fraudulently registered by Asante Kotoko with the Ghana Football Association, making him illegible for their CAF Champions League game.
Asante Kotoko were held to a 1-1 draw in Mauritania by Nouadibou in the first leg of the CAF Champions League and Muniru Sulley was on the club’s team sheet.
Even though the Mauritanian club itself has not filed the protest, a Senegalese journalist, whose working in Mauritania has written to the General Secretary of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to report the alleged illegal use of the player.
“Lovers of African football are concerned about the integrity of African competitions, in accordance with article XVI.1 of the CAF Champions League regulations and following the analysis of the regulations in force for the competition, several articles of press and statements, I would like to inform you of a suspected fraud in the registration of the Ghanaian player Mr Sulley Ali Sariki Muniru of the Ghanaian club Asante Kotoko born October 25, 1992,” the letter said.
“Indeed the latter was transferred to his new club shortly before the closing of the registration period for professional players in Ghana which is October 31, 2020, ” a protest filed by a Senegalese journalist whose identity hasn’t been disclosed and sighted by Ghanasoccernet.com reads.
“To be able to register him in the African list, Asante Kotoko proceeded to register this player locally and at the request of the ITC before the end of this registration period (October 31, 2020).
“Article V.1 relating to the registration and qualification of players in the regulations of the African Champions League stipulates that the number and date of registration of the player’s license with his own federation must be mentioned (Document 1).
“The regulations and statutes of the Ghana Football Federation and its article 26.1.i relating to the registration of Ghanaian players from outside Ghana specify that the player’s file must imperatively include a medical certificate (Document 2).
“However, the player Mr Sulley Ali Sariki Muniru would not have returned to Ghana according to these articles until November 09, 2020 (Document 3).
“And therefore the club Asante Kotoko would have presented a medical certificate for his player from a doctor Ghaneen while the player was not even present in the Ghaneen territory which constitutes a fraud.
“Subsequently, article XVI.2 should be applied and Asante Kotoko’s Ghanaian club should be eliminated and suspended for a period of 3 years from all CAF competitions.
“The club Asante Kotoko club alone assumes this fraud as stipulated in article 26.6 of the statute of the first league Ghanaian (Document 5) which specifies that ‘The responsibility for the veracity of the information on the licenses of the players rests with the clubs and not with the GFA’
“Mr. the general secretary, you just have to check the documents used by the club Asante Kotoko during the registration request of the player and a copy of all the pages of his passport to see if the date of entry into the country does not match the date on the certificate used.
“Finally, the player Mr Sulley Ali Sariki Muniru was present during the last match of the club Asante Kotoko against the Mauritanian club FC Nouadhibou on 10/29/2020 during the first leg of the 1st preliminary round of the African Champions League (Document 6).
“I hope I have provided all the clarifications required on this subject and I express my personal confidence and that of all African athletes for a fair judgment and a decision which honors sports ethics.
“It is clear that the player did not have been in Ghana before the transfer market closed on October 30 and only arrived in Ghana on November 9 when the market was already closed.”
Despite the claims of the protest filed, there are solid reasons why CAF could reject the protest. FIFA regulations state that free transfer players can register at anytime of the season.
As it is also practiced worldwide, several players undergo their medical tests in other countries before travelling to seal their transfers to other federations. This has been done by several players in the English Premier League and La Liga.
CAF is yet to officially respond whether it would entertain a protest from a journalist or even uphold the protest.
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