Ghana escapes FIFA punishment over failure to hoist Congo flag
Ghana has escaped heavy FIFA punishment for failing to hoist or flow the Congo flag during their 2018 World Cup qualifier two months ago with the world governing only warning the West African country.
The West African country escaped with the slap on the wrist as the Disciplinary Committee of FIFA handed various punishments to several countries in the world for various offences two months ago.
While several countries received heavy fines and even deduction of points for various offences, Ghana was just given a warning as recurrence of the incident would attract stiffer punishments.
Ghana's opponents on Sunday's World Cup qualifier Egypt were slapped with a fine of 20,000 Swiss Francs for similar offences.
FIFA said Egypt were fined "due to pitch invasion by media (personnel) and because "no flags were hoisted or flown in the stadium".
FIFA relied on the reports of various match commissioners for the various matches and the official for the Black Stars match with the Congolese was fingered for such infractions.
"Following the latest meeting of the Disciplinary Committee, FIFA can today confirm the sanctions imposed for incidents that occurred during the latest round of the preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup," FIFA said in a statement before naming Ghana among the offending countries.
The National Sports Authority, who own and operate the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi where the match was played, failed to hoist the flag of the visitors.
This drew the ire of the match commissioner, who raised the issue when the match started but there was no clarity among the National Sports Authority over who was responsible for hoisting the flag.
Despite this cock-up by the NSA officials, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) which does not operate the stadium, will receive the warning since FIFA does not deal with third parties.
If Ghana had been fined, the GFA would have been required to pay for fine and not the NSA per the dictates of FIFA laws.
The match also saw the official post match press conference tucked in a corner of the dressing room for the ball boys as the NSA had filled the venue for official press conferences with heavy equipment.
Yet the GFA was blamed for the venue and setting of the press conference when the NSA had rented out the normal room for other purposes.