Heads must roll – Ex-Sports Minister on 4×100 relay team disqualification

Former Youth and Sports Minister Rashid Pelpuo says the officials of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) should not be forgiven over the disqualification of Ghana’s men’s 4×100-meter relay team from the final in the ongoing 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

The former Minister explained that what transpired was an indication that the coaches do not deserve to serve as national coaches for a national team and, therefore, they should be sacked.

The Ghana Athletics Association has rendered an unqualified apology to Ghanaians, saying it was a “technical oversight” that led to the team’s disqualification from the final of the 4x100m relay.

Sean Safo-Antwi, Benjamin Azamati, Barnabas Ageh, and Abdul Rasheed Saminu finished third in the semi-final and earned automatic qualification with a time of 39.05 seconds.

However, they were disqualified after organizers said Ghana did not list Abdul Rasheed Saminu as the anchor leg runner, but rather Joseph Paul Amoah, who did not partake in the race.

The Association had decided to withdraw Amoah from the relay heats to enable him prepare for the 200m final, which took place on Saturday evening and resulting in bonze for the 25-year-old.

The rule requires that any changes to a team’s line-up must be confirmed at least one hour before the race but Ghana failed to notify organizers of their change, resulting in disqualification.

Reacting to the development on 3FM’s Sunrise hosted by Alfred Ocansey, Dr. Rashid Pelpuo, who is also the Member of Parliament for Wa Central Constituency in the Upper West Region, said “this is terrible news for Ghana”.

“This is a mistake that cannot be forgiven at all because it is very very fundamental that you present the names ahead,” he said on Monday.

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“You need to be clear who the teams are, at least, an hour before the race and they should be medically fit. One wonders exactly what they did.”

The former Minister said “it gives an impression that he is not properly fit to be a national coach”.

“It is something that disturbs us. Authorities should not be forgiven; heads must roll because it is a disturbing phenomenal.”

Dr. Rashid Pelpuo explained that “I think some heads should roll unless the coach has something meaningful to explain to Ghanaians”.

“When they come, there should be a thorough examination on what happened because we are worried that our coach doesn’t have the qualities to handle a national team. When people are forgiven for crimes or their inability to do the right thing…we see it as a normal life in Ghana and it shows that they can always do the wrongs and go scot free but when heads roll, it serves as a deterrent to others”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|3FM Sunrise|3news.com|Ghana