The embattled former GFA presidential aspirant, Wilfred Kwaku Osei, says he has spent a fortune in his frantic bid to clear his name at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
However, Mr Osei, popularly known as Palmer, said protecting his integrity meant much more to him than the huge expenditure he had so far made in connection with the case.
Speaking to Graphic Sports ONline in an exclusive interview at his Tema residence last Thursday, Palmer revealed that his decision to seek redress at CAS had cost him over $50,000 but he had no regrets.
“It’s quite a fortune. If you look at the arbitration cost alone, it’s getting close to $50,000. I have to pay my lawyers; communication has to take place and others who come up with supporting documents and ideas have to be appreciated as well.
“So we’ve spent quite a fortune but there is nothing more expensive than integrity. If that is what is going to save my integrity and the goodwill, so be it. I wouldn’t mind spending all the fortune to protect my integrity,” Palmer boasted with glee.
He said at a point during those trying times, he was given two weeks by CAS to cough up 22,000 swiss francs ($24,000), being the GFA’s share of the arbitration fee which it failed to pay.
According to him, he was hoping to get a favourable ruling from CAS so he could look back with pride one day for leaving a legacy for generations unborn.
The former GFA Executive Committee member said despite the frustrations, evidence available clearly indicated that he was wrongly disqualified from the last GFA elections by the Normalisation Committee headed by Dr Kofi Amoah.
“The GFA wanted the case to be thrown out on technical grounds that is why it declined to pay its part of the arbitration fee.
“The information I gathered from the grapevine was that Palmer had done some bad investment which had drained him financially so he would not be able to pay the arbitration fee which the GFA declined to pay,” he alleged.
“I’m very thankful to God for giving me the strength to overcome the stress at the time. I learnt from it from time to time and at the right time, all these will be part of the story,” an emotional Palmer noted.
He reiterated that once the Transfer Matching System (TMS) clearly stated that it was not the GFA that issued the International Transfer Certificate (ITC) of the player at the centre of the controversy, Joseph Paintsil, he could not be held culpable for not paying the 10 per cent share of the transfer fee to the Ghana FA.
He explained that at the time of the player’s transfer, the GFA transfer window had closed, hence it failed to respond to the request for an ITC from the Hungarian FA under whose jurisdiction Paintsil had featured on loan for Ferencvaròs Budapest.
He maintained that was the reason why FIFA ended up issuing a provisional ITC to facilitate Paintsil’s 3 million euros record transfer to Belgian side, KRC Genk, in 2018.
He stated that but for the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAS arbitrators might have come out with their ruling on the case.
Palmer, who was one of the favourites of the last GFA elections, is contesting his disqualification from the polls last October after vetting.