The Ethics Committee of the Ghana Football Association has pardoned veteran coach JEA Sarpong following his comments that players in the top division used marijuana 'wee' to enhance their performances.
The former Ebusua Dwarfs gaffer was summoned by the Football Association to substantiate the comments made on a radio discussion programme.
Coach Sarpong admitted to making those statements but insists his comments were taken out of context.
“I regret to say that I cannot deny making the remarks," he told the committee.
"I appreciate that marijuana is a cannabinoid the use of which is prohibited in football, and generally frowned upon.
"I did not intend to mean, as the statement suggested, that the majority of players in the leagues, or any of them smoked marijuana.
"It would be noted that the statement was made during discussions on coaches’ motivation of players for good performance on the field. I cited my own approach to motivation of a player years ago but noted that I can confirm that the player, who I did not name, in fact indulged in weed on the specific occasion.
"I regret the implications of the statement on the name and reputation of the GFA: of players of the Premier League and the Division One League and of football in the country in general.
"I sincerely apologise to the GFA and the two leagues and its players."
"I hereby withdraw the statement without reservation”.
The Ethics Committee have asked the coach to render a public apology for bringing the game in disrepute, and will also work on educating footballers and the youth on the bad effects of using drugs.
Below is the decision of the Ethics Committee led by Phyllis M Christian ESQ.
Having deliberated on the matter in regard to the alleged unethical comments made by Mr Joseph E. Sarpong (Coach) the following sanctions are imposed on said Mr Joseph E. Sarpong (Coach) by the Ethics Committee:
Joseph E. Sarpong (Coach) is served with a warning to be of good behavior, in accordance with Section 2 Article 7(1) (a) (Disciplinary Measures) of the GFA Code of Ethics.
Joseph E. Sarpong shall issue a public retraction of the said comment and shall provide audio evidence of the performance of same to the Committee.
Joseph E. Sarpong shall, for a period of 6 weeks, undertake social work to provide public education and conducting programmes on anti-doping and anti-drug abuse in sports, football and the youth in general. To provide these services, Coach Joseph E. Sarpong shall collaborate with an NGO engaged in such programmes and deemed suitable by the Committee. The NGO shall, at the end of the 6 week period, submit to the GFA, a satisfactory performance report on Coach Joseph E. Sarpong’s service.
Should Coach Joseph Sarpong be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this Decision, he has within One (1) day of being notified of the grounds of the decision, a right to appeal to the Appeals Committee of the Ghana Football Association, in accordance with Article 55(3) of the GFA Disciplinary Code.