In the wake of the Anas exposé on alleged corruption in football, a sports enthusiast and suspended General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwabena Agyapong, has called for reforms that will give the President of the Republic the power to nominate the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
Mr Agyapong made the call in a yet-to-be-aired interview with Mr Paul Adom Otchere on the current affairs programme on Metro TV, Good Evening Ghana.
According to him, the former system where the President nominated two persons to be considered for the position of FA President by the GFA Congress must be revisited.
“I am going to make a pronouncement which will sound very controversial. From independence, the President always nominated the FA Chairman and so there was a good nexus between the government and football. A clear example was Nkrumah and Ohene Djan.
“It was the same during the PNDC and the NDC eras. E.T. Mensah will nominate two people and bring them to football congress and one will be chosen. The clubs will also select the Vice-Chairman,’’ he said.
The suspended NPP scribe explained that football would not be affected if the President nominated the FA President.
“I call on top people in football to let us sit down and go back to the former arrangement. After all, the President appoints the Chief Justice, the Chairperson of the EC, the Chief of the Defence Staff, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana. So why not football? Is football special?’’ he asked.
Mr Agyapong, who was also the Spokesperson for former President John Agyekum Kufuor, said the current governance system of the GFA was a recipe for corruption and cronyism.
According to him, under the current system, the GFA was hiding under the umbrella of FIFA to stay free from any form of accountability.
“Now look at what is happening. Few people took over football because the congress is only 120 people and to control 120 people is not difficult, especially at a time when money came into football.
“That was the first time we went to the World Cup. Any team that goes to the World Cup gets not less than $10m. They (FA) never accounted to anybody and people became a law to themselves,’’ he added.
He said what he was proposing would give the people of Ghana an avenue to hold the GFA accountable.
“Let the football people meet and understand that it is government money that is used to build stadiums. It is people’s money that is used to support the national teams. There should, therefore, not be one tradition that will control football,’’ he added.
FIFA not a saint
Expanding his arguments, Mr Agyapong added that FIFA, which always provided a shelter for the GFA, was itself not immune from corrupt practices.
“We have a football association that has become an island. If you ask them anything, they say ‘FIFA’. Why? Is FIFA God? FIFA is under the rules of Switzerland, a small country. When the controversy at FIFA occurred, it was a prosecutor in Zurich who ordered investigations which led to the downfall of Sepp Blatter,’’ he said.
What the ace investigator, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has up his sleeve now, titled: “Number 12: When Misconduct and Greed Become The Norm”, is scheduled to air on June 6, 2018.
It promises to expose greed and corruption in Ghana’s football.
Issues of bribery in the form of livestock and money to influence the showing of red cards, player selection and the award of penalties are said to be regular occurrences in Ghana football.
The video has been labelled in some circles as bigger than the judicial scandal.
Even before the video is aired, the President of the GFA, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, is said to be subject matter in the video and has already caught the cold.
He is being investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service for allegedly saying in the video that he had the power to influence the President, the Vice President and other top government officials.
That was after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had reported the matter to the police after watching excerpts of the video.