Asante Kotoko sue Metro TV

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Ghana Premier League side Asante Kotoko have filed a suit against Accra based Metro TV for allegedly making disparaging allegations and comments image of the club.

Listowell Bukarson,Supporters and Public Relations Manager of the club told the Kotoko Express (official paper of the club) that the team sees Metro TV’s claims as “serious and damaging allegations and remarks”.

The suit is yet to be served, as at the time of writing this.

Management of the club have also banned the television station from covering its home matches with immediate effect. Kotoko say the cannot guarantee the safety of the television station and its crew cannot at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

The background

On December 15, 2011 Kotoko beat Berekum Chelsea 1-0 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in the week 11 fixture of this season, after which Metro TV’s Christopher Opoku in radio interviews alleged that supporters of Kotoko assaulted his co-commentator, Nana Agyeman and additionally vandalized equipment of the television station running into thousands of dollars.

Listowell Bukarson has rubbished the claims as baseless.

“We feel that our corporate image has been badly bruised unfairly and unjustifiably too because everything that was said received extensive media coverage and they were not true.”

He also went on to point out his reasoning of Metro TV’s claims. “They have not backed their claims with facts. They have not substantiated those allegations. They have neither showed evidence of a police report on the so-called vandalized equipments nor have there also been independent verification of whatever they claim our supporters did.”

According to Mr. Bukarson, Metro TV wrote to the Ghana FA, claiming that “the cost of the equipment allegedly destroyed is US$ 200,000 but they came back to the PLB saying that it is rather US$10,000″.

For him, Metro TV’s claims were “inconsistent and we see it as an open attempt to milk the club.” Listowell Bukarson complained that Metro TV’s actions could damage the club’s image and reputation.

“What they have done has the potential of destroying the fine relationship we have with our respected sponsors and well-meaning partners. We will not sit down for anybody to take the club for granted. We will get to the bottom of this matter.”

Implications

The matter has serious implications, as Kotoko is easily one of Ghana’s biggest crowd-pullers in terms of football. As such, any decision taken has the potential of providing good or harmful precedent for similar cases in the future.

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the Premier League Board (PLB), which is in control of the top flight, are expected to provide their stances on the issue as soon as possible.

Metro TV, for the moment, will not cover any Kotoko games in the league or FA Cup.

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