…Hands off GFA or Ghana risks ban

Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi, GFA president (LEFT), Mr. Sepp Blatter, FIFA president (MIDDLE), President Atta Mills (RIGHT)

The Federation Internationale de Football Associations (FIFA) has sent a stern warning to the Government of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills to stop interfering in the administration of football in the country, or risk the nation being banned from international competitions.

In a strongly-worded letter to the Ghana Football Association (GFA), a copy of which was sent to this reporter, FIFA said the Government of Ghana was not competent to nominate candidates for elective functions within the football organisational structure, and should not dream of nominating its preferred candidates to contest for any positions in the administration of football in Ghana, or on the international scene.

“It has come to our attention that the Ghana Football Association is currently facing difficulties in its relations with the Government of Ghana,” the letter signed by Jorome Valcke, General Secretary of FIFA, said in its opening paragraph.

The letter went on to state that the world governing body on football had been inundated with press reports and other information from other sources that indicated that the government “has directed the appointment of government representatives on each of the eight national football teams’ management committees.”

In an apparent reference to the botched attempt by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration to foist Abedi Ayew Pele on the Ghana Football Association as Ghana’s nomination for the Confederation of African Football’s Executive election, as well as the government’s desire to force NDC members on the management committees of the eight national teams.

FIFA further stated, in no uncertain terms, that neither the government nor any third party had a right to disturb the organisational arrangement of the GFA.

“We appreciate the fact that the government has now realised that it was not competent to nominate candidates for elective functions within the football organisational structure. However, we would like to kindly ask you to draw the attention of the government to the fact that GFA must manage its affairs independently and with no influence from third parties, as stated in article 17, Paragraph 1 and article 13 Paragraph 1(a) of the FIFA Statutes, and the violation of which might lead to sanctions, as stated in the same Article 13 Paragraph 2 and 3.

In a letter dated November 9, 2010, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Ms Akua Sena Dansua, asked the Ghana Football Association to replace Kwesi Nyantakyi, the FA’s preferred choice, to contest the Executive Member position on the Confederation of African Football (CAF), with Abedi Ayew Pele.

The Minister’s letter stated: “The attached CV of Mr. Pele refers: He is Ghana’s nominee for membership of the CAF Executive Committee. Please take immediate action, and report back.” The GFA called a meeting of its 24-member Executive Committee, and roundly rejected the Minister’s submission.

In a letter dated November 11, 2010, and signed by General Secretary Kofi Nsiah, the football controlling body in Ghana referred the Minister to an earlier notification to the government that the GFA had chosen Mr. Nyantakyi to contest the slot for Ghana, and that the government, through the Minister, agreed to the choice of the FA.

Consequently, Mr. Nyantakyi’s name had already been communicated to CAF, which had already accepted the nomination, per a letter to the Ghanaian football controlling body.

In an apparent rebuff on the government stance, the FA stated: “The Executive Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) finds the latest twist, as per the letter under reference, as unfortunate and clearly confusing.”

On November 12, 2010, Ms Akua Sena Dansua appended her signature to a letter addressed to the President of the GFA, withdrawing the nomination of Abedi Ayew Pele.
“Our letter No. WE 115/174/01 of November 9, 2019, refers; We write to withdraw the said letter, and request you to stay any action on it.”

Earlier, in a letter to the GFA, Ms. Akua Dansua had submitted 10 names as nominees of the government to serve on the Public Interest Committee (PIC), and the eight national football teams in the country.

The nominations are Abedi Ayew Abedi Pele – Chairman and Oteng Arthur on the PIC, Capt. Victus Amenyedor and Tony Baffoe on the Black Stars Management Committee, Kwabena Yeboah and Wilfred Osei on the Local Black Stars (CHAN) Management Committee, Fred Debrah and Kofi Owusu Anokye on Black Meteors Management Committee, Emmanuel Kyeremeh and George Arthur on Satellites Management Committee, Willie Klutse and K.B. Annan on Starlets Management Committee, Heartwill Quist and Mariam Barnor on the Queens Management Committee, Dr. (Mrs.) Erika Dickson and Ms. Celestine Agbozo on the Princesses Management Committee, and Ms Vida Dzormeku and Evelyn Lartey on the Black Maidens Management Committee.

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