By Andrew Warshaw
October 31 – The man who was once the second most powerful official in African football has been banned for life by FIFA, the latest influential figure to dramatically fall from grace.
Former Confederation of African Football vice-president Kwesi Nyantakyi (pictured), who was head of the Ghana FA, was found guilty by FIFA’s ethics committee judges of bribery, corruption and conflict of interest.
Last month, after being initially suspended for 90 days, Nyantakyi, who was also a member of FIFA’s decision-making Council, had his ban increased by an additional 45 and has now been thrown out for good.
The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee said the ban for life applied to “all football-related activities at both national and international level” and brought to end a glittering career after 13 years as GFA President during which he helped Ghana’s Black Stars to qualify for three successive World Cups. He was even tipped in some circles to eventually take over from current CAF President Ahmad Ahmad but instead now leaves the game in disgrace.
As soon as he was suspended after being accused of taking kickbacks Nyantakyi resigned from all his positions and was conspicuous by his absence from the FIFA Congress in June. He had been filmed apparently receiving $65,000 in cash in a hotel room from a supposed businessman seeking to sponsor the Ghanaian football league but claimed the footage had been doctored to falsely incriminate him.
The revelations formed part of a two-year undercover investigation by a Ghanaian journalist into football corruption in Africa and also revealed footage of over 100 referees and officials allegedly taking cash before games.
Some of the footage was broadcast by the BBC World Service’s investigations programme Africa Eye.
FIFA ethics committee statement:
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has banned Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.
The adjudicatory chamber found Mr Nyantakyi guilty of having violated art. 19 (Conflicts of interest), art. 21 (Bribery and corruption) and art. 22 (Commission) of the FIFA Code of Ethics, 2012 edition. As a consequence, Mr Nyantakyi is banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level. Additionally, a fine in the amount of CHF 500,000 has been imposed on Mr Nyantakyi.
The decision was notified to Mr Nyantakyi today, and the ban comes into force immediately.
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