News 8th September 2015

Coaches refute match-fixing claims in Ghana’s premier league

Local media have reported that both the coach of Berekum Chelsea and that of Accra Hearts of Oak have refuted claims that the recent football match between the two sides over the weekend was fixed. Hearts of Oak played Chelsea in a First Capital Plus Premier League fixture, the first tier of professional football in Ghana, on Sunday 6 September at the Accra sports stadium. Hearts of Oak, who lie fifth in the table, won 3-2 against the visitors, who now lie just one point below in the league.

According to ghanasoccernet.com the ‘quality’ of Berekum Chelsea’s performance has become ‘a matter of intense conjecture’ in the local media, claiming that this was Hearts of Oak’s first win over Berekum Chelsea in Accra. The website claimed that the match was ‘riddled with suspicious goals and soft play.’ Another local football website, allsports.com.gh reported that all five goals in the game were scored in the space of 27 minutes.

In an interview with allsports.com.gh, the Head Coach of Berekum Chelsea, Solomon Odwo, refuted claims that the match was fixed, arguing that it was ‘obvious’ what had happened. Odwo reportedly explained that he had ‘shouted a lot on the touchline’ but that ‘unfortunately my striker got injured’, ruling him out of he game and affecting its outcome. Odwo further attributed the loss to ‘lapses from midfield’ and a ‘lack of focus’.

Eddie Ansah, Accra Hearts of Oak’s interim Coach, also refuted the claims, according to ghanasoccernet.com. ‘If it was a fixed game, I would have shouted,’ Ansah is reported to have said. ‘When you look at the chances they were missing, they were under pressure because they wanted to score and score at all cost [sic].’

The Sports Integrity Initiative has contacted the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for confirmation of these claims and whether there will be an ensuing investigation. The GFA are yet to respond.

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