Ghana Premier League giants Accra Hearts of Oak has once again called upon accusers to provide concrete evidence regarding any alleged involvement of players or officials in match-fixing. This marks the third time this year that the club has made such a request.
The latest statement comes in response to claims made by Mr. Wisdom Osei Bonsu, also known as Darling Boy Piero, during a panel discussion on Silver FM in Kumasi on May 27, 2023. Mr. Osei Bonsu alleged that some Hearts players had participated in match-fixing, suggesting that they had prior knowledge of specific Ghana Premier League game outcomes, resulting in matches of convenience.
In light of these serious accusations, the management of Hearts of Oak has expressed its concern and taken note of the allegations. The club is determined to thoroughly investigate the matter and has invited Mr. Wisdom Osei Bonsu to step forward and provide any assistance that could aid in the investigation and resolution of the issue.
"The club therefore wishes to invite Mr. Wisdom Osei Bonsu to assist us in our resolve to get to the very bottom of this matter," stated the club's management.
The management of Hearts of Oak said it was troubled by the recent poor performance of its players which has resulted in three consecutive defeats, adding that the club was committed to ensuring that any criminal conduct by players or officials are appropriately punished.
This latest call for assistance in investigating match-fixing allegations comes just a day after Hearts, in a separate statement, demanded that former Ghana international Yussif Chibsah immediately disclose the name(s) of any individuals at the club allegedly involved in match-fixing. Chibsah claimed in an interview on May 24, 2023, that Alhaji Grunsah, owner of King Faisal Football Club, had uncovered Hearts of Oak's attempt to bribe King Faisal players.
Hearts of Oak reiterated its right to protect and defend its integrity, strongly objecting to the publication of unsubstantiated allegations that undermine the club's reputation and the credibility of Ghanaian football. The club urged retired professional footballers, like Chibsah, to act responsibly and avoid making baseless claims.
It is worth noting that in January of this year, the club similarly demanded evidence of staff involvement in match-fixing from Joyce Attah, wife of goalkeeper Richard Atta, former coach Samuel Boadu, and referee Selorm Yao Bless.
Mrs. Attah, who later apologized for her comments after Hearts gave her a seven-day deadline to seek legal redress, alleged that two unnamed directors of the club, whom she nicknamed "Aki and Pawpaw," orchestrated the dismissal of former coach Samuel Boadu by interfering in coaching decisions and manipulating matches.
Mrs. Attah also claimed in a widely circulated audio that the two officials instructed referee Selorm Yao Bless, who was officiating a 1-1 draw between Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko earlier in the season, to issue red cards to two Hearts players.