…Over alleged govt. interference
Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi, GFA president
FIFA is expected to make a statement this week on the problems within the Zambian and Ghanaian FAs. The world governing has been investigating the two countries over alleged government interference in the administration of the game.
Officials in the two countries are bracing themselves for damning conclusions about what went wrong. The report from FIFA could have a profound impact on the future of the two federations.
The power struggle in the Football Association of Zambian (FAZ) turned into a full blown crisis on Friday when a faction elected a new Executive Committee. The group say that the committee run by FAZ President Kalusha Bwalya is no longer in charge.
The turmoil in FAZ started last month when four officials resigned claiming they had issues with Bwalya’s leadership style. This prompted the Sports Council of Zambia, a government body, to set up a committee to investigate FAZ.
But under FIFA rules, national football associations must not be subject to government control. Bwalya insists that the recent developments within FAZ could lead to a suspension from international football.
“It is a big concern and a big worry for me that this could lead to sanctions by FIFA,” Bwalya told the BBC’s Fast Track sports programme. “I have tried to explain to our affiliates the current situation and they understand the consequences if this line of action is followed. “FIFA sent a representative to our meeting at the weekend and he has seen that we are strong on the ground.”
Meanwhile, Ghana is expected to escape with a slap on the wrist after government withdrew an order to impose Abedi Pele as a candidate for a vacant CAF post.
The Ghana FA chose its president Kwesi Nyantakyi three months ago to contest next year’s elections but sports minister wanted Abedi to vie for the post.
Sanity has now been restored after the government backed down on its request. Similar actions by the governments in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Kenya have resulted in bans from international football.