Athletics officials demand lifting of Bissah’s ban

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Some former national athletes, coaches and past executives of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) have called for the immediate lifting of the ban placed on former Junior Olympics gold medallist, Martha Bissah, who arrived in the country this week after a long sojourn in the United States.

Petition to President Akufo-Addo

The stakeholders of track and field have petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Mustapha Ussif, to rectify what they described as an anomaly of a ban on an adolescent for the past six years.

They are also calling on the President to end the hardship Martha Bissah is currently going through due to the ban which they believe is illegal and unwarranted.

“Martha Bissah only spoke the truth after an amount donated by the then President, John Mahama, was snatched from him by Professor Dodoo and his assigns,” they contended.

GAA probe

At a press conference held at Ridge in Accra, the conveners – Messrs George Haldane Lutterodt, a former chairman of the GAA, and Princeworth Kwaku Darteh Anane Asare, chairman of the technical committee of the Ghana Technical Universities Sports Association (GHATUSA) – also called for a probe into the activities of the GAA over the past six years under the leadership of Prof. Dodoo.

“We also want GAA to clarify the position of Charles Osei Asibey, who is the president of the Arm Wrestling Federation, and Bawa Fuseini, president of the Ghana Triathlon Federation, in the GAA, since their current status in sports is in conflict with the spirit and letter of the GAA constitution and their appointments and positions are illegal,” Mr Anane-Asare stated.

“Charles Osei Asibey can’t be the head of marketing at GAA; he has no marketing expertise, he is not a member of the GAA and has no authority to hold himself as such as head of appointment without approval from delegates and congress,” Mr Anane-Asare stressed.

Mr Lutterodt also questioned the logic and legality behind the appointment of Mr Afelibeik Ababu as a substantive president of the GAA, while Prof. Dodoo, who says he will step down after the Olympics, had not officially done so.

“We can’t have two presidents of the GAA, Professor Dodoo has not officially stepped down, and he can’t say he has resigned by word of mouth; it must be official. Also, the constitution states that should a president resign or step down, the vice president acts until there is an election, so why appoint someone to the post,” he questioned.

Speaker after speaker bemoaned the problems bedevilling athletics and why the image of the sport was sinking.

Restoring past glory

A former national athletics coach, Albert Nukpezah, while wishing Ghana’s contingent at the Tokyo Olympics good luck, bemoaned the lack of support for the sport and the waning interest of the sport among Ghanaians.

“In some times past, athletics was the cynosure of all eyes, all came to watch athletes perform at their best but that is no more,” he noted.

He tasked the government to institute a probe into the administration of Prof. Dodoo and rid athletics of corrupt and greedy opportunists.

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