Ghana soccer under siege

It is beginning to look like there are certain personalities in the governance process of this country, who are uncomfortable with the giant strides the game of football has made over the last decade. Yesterday, the Economic and Organised Crime Office raided the Football House, head office of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) in Accra, and made away with nine computers and several files.

According to an officer, who gave his name as Gideon Deklu, the former Serious Fraud Office had a search warrant to look for evidence, in respect of sponsorship monies for Ghana’s participation in the 2010 World Cup.

The Chronicle is not amused by this development. It was barely one week ago, when the FA received an epistle from the game’s governing body, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), warning of dire consequences for Ghana football, if the government of John Evans Atta-Mills continues to meddle in affairs pertaining to football administration in this country.

According to the FIFA letter, “the Government could audit the GFA accounts related to the attribution of public funds, i.e. government funds. This of course, excludes the funds coming from other sources, such as FIFA, CAF, or corporate bodies.”

We do not need any ghost to tell us that the raid on the FA, during which workers were held hostage for close to four hours, amounted to interference in the organisation of the game at the centre of the earth.

The FIFA letter spelt it out clearly that the GFA “must manage its own affairs.” In other words, the government of Ghana, and its agencies, has no business raiding the FA offices looking for whatever evidence on monies raised by the football controlling body.

The Chronicle fears that we are heading for trouble. Under Article 17, paragraph one of the FIFA Statutes, “each member shall manage its affairs and with no influence from third parties.” Article 13, paragraph one, states that: “Members have the following obligations: (a) to comply fully with the statutes, regulations and decisions of FIFA bodies at any time, as well as the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) passed on appeal, on the basis of article 62 paragraph one of the FIFA Statutes.

We are appalled by the fact that it was only one week ago when FIFA showed the Government of Ghana the yellow card. If we continue to flout the statutes of the world governing body, it would have no alternative than to pull out the red card. With the raid on the FA office yesterday, this nation stands on the edge of being sanctioned. Come to think of it, it was a needless tackle by the outfit that used to answer to the name Serious Fraud Office. Ghanaians should rise up. Our football is under siege!

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