Soccer News of 2009-09-24

Red Bull Soccer Academy Owner Petitioned By Angry Chiefs

Gen. Manager, Tech. Dir and Youth Coach to be fired­­

Dear Mr. Mateschitz,

We the chiefs and the people of fievie-sogapoke and South Tongu District as a whole were overjoyed when Red Bull Company decided to build a soccer Academy in fievie-sogakope in Ghana since it was going to improve upon all aspects of life of our people both locally and nationally.

Of late, more infrastructures has been added to existing ones and we have come to the realization that Red Bull Company appreciates the environment and feels encourage and free to invest.

We the local people are playing our part by fully supporting this worthy course of Red Bull.

A few months ago the first General Manager Mr. Sanzio Bahner who had worked so well as far as our community left the Academy under circumstances that we cannot explain.

Since we the local people did not have any misunderstanding with him when he was with us we can safely conclude that the problems that led to his departure were between him and the company.

We would not have been so much concerned with his departure if the new man who replaced him had not come to team up with two of his white colleagues to perpetuate the sort of racial discrimination and other unacceptable behaviors towards we the people. we feel very much insulted.

We can not enumerate all the instances; however the following cases clearly explain the issue beyond all reasonable doubt.

1. The new General Manager Mr. Hermann Kern arrived and in his estimation decided to sack a work. Whether his decision was right or wrong is not our concern here.

We the worker complained rightly of parliament who requested for a discussion of the issue with the General Manager by sending his ( Member of parliament) complimentary Card, the (General Manager ) disrespectfully tore the compliment Card into pieces right before the one who submitted it to him what did this mean.? The message to the Member of Parliament) was that he General Manager does not recognize the member of parliament’s existence as a human being and more so as an important and respected member of the community

2. When the senior team players of the Academy met the Technical Director Mr. Hans –Peter schaller on issues concerning their allowances /bonuses, he insulted them and called them FOOLISH AFRICAN. This exposes the Technical Director for the racist that he is. If Africans are foolish and for that matter we Ghanaians are foolish, Then he Peter should leave us alone and go home in order not to tarnish the good image of Red Bull.

3. We have been reliably informed by some of the players that the Technical Director and the rest of white have decided to frown on and debase our culture by warning players not to show courtesy to adult the way our culture demands.

We view this as a serious and dangerous development. We are not in a European

Society and for that matter no attempt should be made to look down on our

Culture by forcing our children to abandon our values and ways of life and take

Alien foreign values and ways of life which our children are possibly being

told are Superior and more acceptable.

We treasure our culture and we do not want it adulterated in any way.

4. Mr. Hans- Peter Schaller again insulted the intelligence of all Ghanaians by irritatingly boasting that there is nobody intelligent enough in Ghana to advice him; not even the President of Ghana. He made this rude and racial comment during one of his meeting with coaches.

5. Mr. Hans- Peter Schaller again made sarcastic and derogatory remarks during a meeting with coaches about transportation of player to and from hospital. He said if players go for medical attention- to see the doctor about 6 kilometers away and a vehicle is not readily provided to bring them back they should walk the 6 kilometers back to the Academy.

What an insult! Can he say such a thing in his own country?

There are many other issues that are either criminal in nature or can be related to disrespect for we the people.

Here are a few examples.

1. Mr. Hans- Peter Schaller tried to rape one of the female employee and in the process injured her and she had to seek medical attention.

2. One question on the lips of many people in Sogakope is whether Red Bull soccer Academy has to sell use soccer boots in Sogakope market survive?

We do not understand why the Academy should choose to go contrary to the tax laws of our country. The boots were brought in tax free so they should not be sold. This happened because Daniel Heidemann and Hans- Peter Schaller did not want to support any group or groups in the society. One of our local teams or our District education office would have been more than grateful if this boot were given out to them.

We ask again if it is not sheer wickedness and ungratefulness with regards to the support and goodwill that the Academy enjoys from the community , does Red Bull Soccer Academy, Sogakope need to sell used soccer boot to survive?.

As we said earlier we can cannot enumerate all the issues. The few we can mention above clearly show that all is not well between the white in the Red Bull Soccer Academy, Sogakope whose behavior clearly indicate that they are superior and we the people whom they consider as lower animals.

This letter will be incomplete if we do not express our worry over condition currently prevailing in the school department of the Academy. Earlier the school Director approached some community opinion leaders that he wanted to resign from his position because he had cost to suspect and finally conclude that the new General Manager had an agenda to frustrate him. We advice him to hang on since the man was very new that the situation might improve.

Now he has informed us that his appointment and the appointments of all teachers have been terminated along side the dismissal of a number of student’s players.

We the people have no problem if the management of the academy insists on good performance from all workers and students players. We, as much as possible, do not want to get involved in issue of this nature. BUT if certain decisions are shrouded in suspicion due to very questionable circumstances, then we would like to request that the case should be properly investigated.

Because, if what the school Director is telling us is true, then we are very surprised that students players will be sent on break without his knowledge. Also we cannot understand why students players will be given letter of dismissals without the school Director being informed when a lot of school documents will have to be prepared for the students to be transfered to new schools.

The school Director conclude that the General Manager said he and the teachers were not doing their work properly. He insisted that the General Manager and the Technical Director did not agree with him on a number of frank observations and suggestion he made in his annual report and that was why they were framing up stories to justify the action.

The school Director has requested us to throw you this challenge that the student’s players should be the best judges in this matter. They should be asked whether we teachers were teaching them well or not.

According to him, the General Manager since his arrival, has neither entered one classroom during class hours to observe a teacher teach nor interacted with the school staff as he was doing with his Technical team. The General Manager can therefore not assess the school staff- a staff whose individual he does not know.

We are increasingly and genuinely worried over developments in Red Bull soccer Academy, Sogakope since the former General Manager Mr. Sanzio Bahner left.

The image of Red Bull both in the locality and in the country at large has sunk so low because most of us and majority of people who know Red Bull Academy, Sogakope now see the whites in Red Bull Academy as racists and people who have no respect for the black man. Even a good number of student’s players, we are told, hold that view. This is just the plain truth!

At the begging of out letter we explained that circumstances that led to Mr. Sanzio Bahner departure did not involve any conflict between him and the community compared with the case now with Mr. Kermann Kern and his white team getting into serious conflict with prominent leaders, workers of the Academy and the community at large.

This therefore gives us the conviction that what ever the differences between the company and Mr. Sanzio Bahner, this differences can be resolved so that he comes back.

This is the wish of the we the people and we humbly appeal for it to be granted. We have lent that he did not complete his contract. It is in the supreme interest of we the people that Red Bull company grant us this request for Mr. Sanzio Bahner to be brought back.

The decision on Mr. Sanzio Bahner`s coming back should PLEASE not be difficult for Red Bull company to take because we strongly feel it will be in the best interest of both the company and the community. These is our fervent and humbly appeal.

It will serve as a healing process which will appease we the people for the degradation and insult we have received from Mr. Hermann Kern, Mr. Hans- Peter Schaller and Mr. Daniel Heidemann.

If eventually this three people are withdrawn back to Austria, ( We want this to happen ) there should be thought this very important and fundamental lession that our activities in life can be likened on to the KEYBOARD of the piano. You can play only the white keys to make music; you can also play only the black keys to make music. But for HARMONY you need to combine both the white and black keys.

The three white people played only the white keys and refused to use the black keys.They have therefore failed to HARMONISE their music which the community has rightly rejected.

We in Sogakope are committed to supporting you build a good image for Red Bull. We want to contribute positively to the success story of Red Bull Soccer Academy, Fievie-Sogakope.

We thank you for your kind attention and hope for favourable response.

Togbe Gbadawu VI

Head of the Security Council of Fevie State


The Ministry of Information, Ministry of Education, Director General, Ghana Education Service, The Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs and Ministry of Information


Source: GHP
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