Football Ban Still Looms
The decision by Youth and Sports minister; Isaac Kwame Asiamah, with four others to travel to the Swiss city of Zurich to meet with official of football governing body, FIFA, has turned out to be a fruitless exercise and waste of money.
FIFA stuck to its stance by virtually throwing out the delegation from Switzerland by reiterating its demand on the Akufo-Addo government to immediately discontinue court processes to liquidate the Ghana Football Association (GFA) by August 27, this year.
World football governing body, also insisted on working together with the Ghanaian government and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to set up a normalization committee to run Ghana football to replace the current Executive Committee of the Ghana FA.
Also on the delegation were the Deputy Chief of Staff, Samuel A. Jinapor; Information Minister designate; Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Deputy-Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame and the head of the FIFA/CAF liaison team, Dr. Kofi Amoah.
Yesterday meeting at the FIFA Headquarters in Zurich, was at the instance of the Ghanaian government, after it received a threat from FIFA to ban the country from international football on Monday.
FIFA said that, government’s decision to dissolve the Ghana FA through the court was seen as interference and that was against FIFA’s rules.
But Ghana’s government said that it had to deal with corruption as per the constitution while respecting FIFA’s laws thus, the meeting was hurriedly set up to discuss the way forward in order to satisfy both parties.
A statement read the “outcome of meeting between Government of Ghana and FIFA to discuss next steps for football administration in Ghana” resolved as follows:
- The Presidents of Ghana and FIFA have committed to work together to offer leadership in reforming football administration in Ghana and in Africa;
- That the GoG and FIFA shall work closely to eradicate corruption and malfeasance and other associated criminal conduct from the administration of football in Ghana;
- The GoG and FIFA shall establish a joint task force to create proper disciplinary, governance and auditing mechanisms as well as ensure that persons who are found culpable are punished in accordance with Ghanaian domestic laws and FIFA statutes;
- FIFA upon consultation with the GoG and CAF shall establish a normalization committee to replace the Executive Committee of the Ghana Football Association;
- FIFA in consultation with the GoG and CAF shall appoint persons with integrity and competence to constitute the membership of the normalization committee;
- Satisfied with the above measures, the GoG shall take steps to discontinue the process for the winding up of the Ghana Football Association.
The FIFA delegation WAS led by its President, Gianni Infantino, and comprising the Secretary General, Madam Fatma Samoura, and other representatives of the FIFA administration.
FIFA’s decision to set up a normalization committee is not different from what has occurred in countries such as Cameroon in times past, and the committee would have to work out a timetable and a road-map to get new executives elected to form a new Executive Committee of the FA.
With that in line, FIFA said after the meeting that, it will together with the government of Ghana, establish a task-force to root out corruption in Ghana football.
Another fallout of the meeting was that a joint task-force would be created to put together disciplinary and auditing mechanisms to check and punish perpetrators of wrongdoing in football per Ghana’s laws and FIFA statutes.
On June 7, investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, aired a documentary “Number 12” on corruption in football in Ghana, and some leading figures including FA boss, Kwesi Nyantakyi, were seen allegedly taking part in some corrupt acts.
As a response, the Ghana government asked for the arrest of Kwesi Nyantakyi on the charge of defrauding by false pretense based on utterances he made on the tape.
Kwesi Nyantakyi, then resigned from his position as Ghana FA boss and also from CAF.
FIFA also provisionally suspended Nyantakyi for 90 days as a result of the tape.
The Ghana government went ahead to secure a court injunction on the Ghana FA as the first step of a process that was to lead to the eventual liquidation of the Ghana FA under the Companies Act since the FA was registered as such.
As all of that happened, a freeze was put on Ghana football and that has not changed until present.
Meanwhile, former Youth and Sports Minister, Nii Lante Vanderpuije, has called on government to push for fresh elections to elect new executives for the football association.
According to the MP for Odododiodio, the country’s failure to respond to FIFA after three months of post Kwesi Nyantakyi era, has been the cause for FIFA to threaten Ghana with a ban.
FIFA, in a letter to the Dr Kofi Amoah-led Liaison Committee currently managing Ghana football, accused the government of third-party interference and gave the country an August 27 ultimatum to withdraw its application to the High Court to commence the liquidation process of the GFA or risk being banned from all football-related activities.
But Nii Lantey, believes the delay to get new GFA executives, has been the cause of this threat.
“By this time we should have had new elections and elected new executives onto the Exco to administer our football we delayed too much that is why FIFA has come in.
“Fifa suspends Nyantakyi for three months and they were expecting we to take an action to restore sanity but we have gone beyond three months and it is the cause,” Vanderpuije tells Starr sports.
Veteran football administrator, Takyi Arhin, has advised government not to constitute FIFA’s Normalization Committee with NPP loyalist.
Arhin’s call comes at the back of a release issued after the hurriedly arranged meeting, following a threat by the football governing body to ban Ghana, stated that “the GoG shall take steps to discontinue the process for the winding up of the Ghana Football Association.”
The government officials also agreed to set up a normalisation committee to run football in Ghana until the crisis are fully resolved.
But Arhin, is cautioning government on the constitution of the committee.
“I just want to caution the Sports Minister not to bring NPP members on board but genuine people with integrity and knowledgeable football people because this is not a party affair, this is football and football must be the winner at the end of the day”, Arhin told Starr Sports.