Courting International Football Ban
President Akufo-Addo, has dissolved the Ghana Football Association (GFA) after a private investigative company, Tiger Eye PI, documented rampant bribery and corruption in the game, sparking speculations that both Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the world soccer body FIFA, might take drastic measures against the country over the decision by the government.
Sports Minister, Isaac Asiama, has confirmed the dissolution and said all its officers, can no longer carry themselves as FA officials. ‘It has been dissolved with immediate effect’, he told Joy FM yesterday.
“When we say the FA is dissolved it means all functions, all activities are all dissolved”, he said and mentioned the suspension of the Premier League.
But the dissolution, is likely to attract a FIFA ban, as its rules oblige member associations to manage their own affairs “independently and with no influence from third parties.”
FIFA banned Nigeria in 2014, after its High Court disbanded the Football Association, after a poor showing at the World Cup in Brazil. A ban would mean no Ghanaian team, including club sides, can play in regional, continental or international competitions.
It is actually argued that, the president, does not have the power to dissolve an incorporated organisation.
Interestingly, Parliament hours before the government announcement, waded into the explosive revelations by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, in his latest work.
Reacting to a call by members of the House for their intervention in the matter, the Speaker, Professor Mike Ocquaye, said Ghana’s Constitution, grants the legislature the power to investigate any person or institutions in the country and therefore, deems it appropriate to initiate a probe into the content of the video.
This comes 24 hours after the public screening of the documentary at the Accra International Conference Center, reduced the Association to ridicule and severe trolling on social media.
The President of the Association, was filmed allegedly collecting $65,000 from ‘investors’ to influence the president and vice-president to get road contracts.
He is under investigation for defrauding by false pretence.
A statement from the Presidency, has confirmed the President’s decision to dissolve the FA.
Government has directed the Registrar-General to remove the name of the GFA from its books. The Police, has also began investigating all persons, indicted in the documentary titled ‘Number 12’.
“Parliament has the power to make laws to regulate professional, trade and business organisations. That is a very strong authority. If we have the power to regulate you, one of the criteria we are being told to look is whether you are acting democratically, and if fraud or corruption is alleged, that cannot be democratic, for that matter we are entitled to look into that matter. And that is what our special committee does.
“Everyone knows we are in an era where we all agree that we are fighting corruption and parliament must be the authority that is most interested in view of its being representative body of the entire of Ghana. Since no person, body or institution can assume an immunity from parliamentary investigation, I ask that we form a special committee right now, we will quickly look at the matter and then we will show what recommendations we should make,” he said.
Meanwhile, the GFA, has given the assurance that there would be no cover-ups at the football organization, following the revelations of ill-conduct by some officials in the investigative piece.
The FA, however, says it was not given the opportunity to view the video ahead of the Wednesday premiering, even though they are a major part of its content.
“The GFA wishes to place on record that, there will be no attempt of a cover-up or shield any of our members caught in alleged acts of corruption. The GFA, wishes to assure all that as an institution it does not condone any manner of corrupt practices,” the FA said in a statement.