Pulse Sports Statistician and Historian Thomas Freeman Yeboah has recounted the shocking demotions in the Ghanaian topflight league since its inception in the 1956-57 season.
The ‘Giants of the West’ were the first side to be kicked out of the Ghana Premier League for disciplinary reasons.
Ohene Djan, the Director of Sports who had transferred two players each from the top teams in Ghana to form Real Republicans, later in the season saw the prowess of Modibo Toe, a Liberian, who grew up in Ghana and decided to transfer him to Real Republicans.
Sekondi Hasaacas who were not happy with the decision slapped a suspension on their player, Modibo Toe to prevent his transfer to Real Republicans. The all-powerful Ohene Djan got furious by the attempt of Hasaacas and expelled them from the Ghanaian topflight league, with six games to end the 1962-63 league and invited another Sekondi club Ghana Independence to continue from where Hasaacas left it off.
Hasaacas initially defied the orders and even turned up for the next league game against Dwarfs. Independence too showed up for the same game, so three clubs were present for a league game, but fortunately it was rained off. Hasaacas, afterwards accepted the ban and had to stay in the lower division for a season, before they were invited to re-join the league.
Ohene Djan then annulled the suspension of Modibo Toe and transferred him to Real Republicans, where he played for two seasons before he left to his native country Liberia.
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The Kumasi based club were kicked out of the topflight league in 1984 when it was about five weeks. A court decision compelled the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to expel Neoplan Stars.Bolgatanga Union Uppers, who were not satisfied with the manner in which a replay was organised between them and Dredgers after the latter’s supporters had invaded the pitch to prevent the game from travelling the entire 90 minutes placed an injunction against Neoplan Stars who benefited from the replay and qualified at their expense.
The GFA who were not ready to resolve football matters in the law court went ahead with the league, despite a ruling by an Accra High Court that if the league was to start Union Uppers would forever be prevented from participating in that season’s league unless they qualified in the subsequent seasons.
Although the league was in the fifth week, an Accra High Court came out with a final ruling on the case, saying the GFA erred by organising a replay between Bolgatanga Union Uppers and Dunkwa Dredgers. According to the verdict, the GFA should have awarded the Bolga based side the two points and two goals, instead of a replay because there was evidence that Dredgers fans invaded the pitch by preventing the game from traveling the entire 90 minutes. This would have aided Bolgatanga Union Uppers to qualify for the topflight league instead of Neoplan.
The league had travelled quite far at the time of the ruling and the GFA saw it was not prudent to start all over again, but Neoplan were expelled from the league. The game Neoplan played before the verdict were declared friendlies and seized to participate in a scoring basis.
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Dreams FC are the 3 club to suffer a shocking demotion from the topflight league. The Kweiman based club secured promotion last two seasons from Division One League to participate in the Ghana Premier League last season at the expense of Tema Youth.
However, Tema Youth filed a protest against Dreams FC for using Daniel Gozar/ Cujoe Mensah who was involved in double registration, hence unqualified to have featured in their match day 24 game.
Tema Youth lost the case at the Disciplinary and Appeals Committees, but sent the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) for redress as the final arbiter.
Dreams FC were allowed to participate in the Ghana Premier League, while the case was ongoing at CAS. It was when the league was midway that CAS ordered the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to reconstitute the Appeals Committee to sit on the matter.
The new Appeals Committee after hearing the case came out with a ruling that Dreams FC used an unqualified player against Tema Youth, hence should forfeit the three points involved in that game and also lose three additional points for using Daniel Gozar/Cudjoe Mensah who was unqualified for the game.
Dreams FC per the verdict have been kicked out of the Ghana Premier League, despite finishing last season in a respectable fifth place due to an unqualified player they used last two seasons in the GN Division League. They will be replaced by Tema Youth next season in the Ghana Premier League.