The Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) has issued an unqualified apology for the disqualification of the men’s 4x100m relay team in the final of the ongoing Commonwealth games in Birmingham.
The relay team which was made up of Sean Safo-Antwi, Benjamin Azamati, Barnabas Kobby Asante Aggerh and Abdul-Rasheed Saminu secured a place in the final of the 4x100m after finishing 3rd in heat 2 in a time of 39.05s, behind Nigeria and Kenya.
However, the team was disqualified due to failure to confirm changes made to the running line up and order an hour before the race.
GAA failed to inform the officials of the games of the late change which saw Abdul-Rasheed Saminu replace 200m finalist Joseph Paul Amoah.
An appeal by GAA over the decision was inefficacious. The decision meant that Ghana will not participate in the final tomorrow and will be replaced by Turks and Caicos Islands.
Reacting to the ban, GAA has released a press statement issuing an apology over the disqualification. The Association added that the reason for not informing the officials of the change was an unfortunate oversight.
The full statement read:
GAA would like to first render an unqualified and heartfelt apology to the men’s 4X100m for the technical oversight that led to the disqualification of the team from the final of the 4X100m relay after comfortably placing 3rd overall in the semi-final.
We also apologize to the many fans of Ghana Athletics around the world, and to the entire nation, we extend our sincere apology. *Indeed, we are all heartbroken given that the men’s 4X100m and coaches have successfully participated in many international events over the past few years; including a 5th place global ranking 14 days ago at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon (USA).*
*Technical Reason for the Disqualification*: The men’s 4X100m team was disqualified per World Athletics Rule TR 24.11. In short, only athletes whose names are on the final confirmation form as starters can run during the competition. Ghana originally submitted its 4X100m final confirmation listing four (4) starters and a reserve about 14 hrs before the start of the race on August 5th.
Joseph Amoah who was originally listed as a starter was subsequently ruled out of participating in the semi-final of the 4x100m on the morning of August 6th. However, in what we can only describe as an unfortunate oversight, Joseph’s withdrawal was not transmitted in time to the Technical Information Center (TIC) by our coaching crew as intended before the race. *GAA is currently engaging major stakeholders on the matter since there are valuable logistical lessons to be learned from this unfortunate outcome.