By Andrew Warshaw
August 16 – Ghana’s authorities appear to be digging in their heels over FIFA’s ultimatum to get their house in order by August 27 or be thrown of international football.
Football activities have ceased in Ghana ever since Ghana FA boss and FIFA Council member Kwesi Nyantakyi became embroiled in a bribery scandal after being pictured taking $65,000 from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman
Nyantaki has been suspended by FIFA for 90 days and Ghana’s attorney general has ordered the national association to be dissolved.
But FIFA says any such manoeuvres must be withdrawn or a ban will be imposed. A letter signed by FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura says that “if the petition to start the liquidation process of the GFA is not withdrawn by Monday 27 August 2018 at 1100GMT the GFA will be suspended with immediate effect.”
The problem is that the Ghana case represents a classic example of why FIFA’s long-held insistence that governments must not interfere in the affairs of its member federations can be so complex.
In many countries, especially in Africa, national associations are by law run by the authorities and Ghana has pointed this out in a response to FIFA’s ultimatum.
In a letter to the two-man liaison team named by FIFA to oversee football in the country, the government insists the entire system needs a clean-up before football can resume. Hence its decision to scrap the current Ghana FA executive committee.
“The GFA (Ghana Football Association) is registered as a company limited by guarantee under the laws of Ghana,” says the letter, tellingly.
“Given the …. overwhelming evidence of widespread corruption, bribery, match-fixing and other forms of illegality at all levels of the operations of the GFA, the government of Ghana was left with no option but to enforce the domestic laws of Ghana to bring the operations of the GFA to a halt, as a first step to sanitizing and reforming football administration in Ghana.”
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