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Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ recent exposé titled “#12” put a spot light on the activities of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and its officials including the GFA President as well as referees. The premiering of the exposé to Ghanaians starting from Accra, The Accra International Conference Centre revealed shocking and jaw dropping details that got Ghanaians across the globe enraged. The GFA has always been perceived by many as an institution which is full of corrupt elements making it difficult for Ghana to get the best out of its efforts as far as football is concerned on the globe. Government, in order to somewhat appease the Ghanaian populace, released a press statement through the Information Ministry in which the dissolution of the GFA seems to be in the offing. Prior to that, the Minister for Youth and Sports had made an emphatic statement that the GFA stood dissolved.
Public Interest Research and Advocacy Network, Ghana (PIRAN-GH) is all for any measure government intends to take to salvage the situation at GFA and arrest the rot going on. However, we would like to urge government to tread cautiously in whatever actions it decides to take since any fallout from wrong and miscalculated steps taken by government may be dire for the nation in terms of football administration in general.
There are clear guidelines in law as to what should be done regarding football administration at the national level even in the face of ‘scandals’. We, therefore, to begin with, find the Minister for Youth and Sports’ blanket statement or press statement dissolving the GFA rather a knee jerk one and not well thought through. We wish to remind government of its responsibility towards the smooth running of the country in the interest of all in general and football administration in particular.
Officials of an institution being corrupt doesn’t in anyway call for the dissolution of that institution, rather, individuals found to have misconducted themselves will have to be confronted with the evidence in court to secure a prosecution. If we had to go on a dissolution spree in the name of corrupt officials, then we would like to say that so many of our institutions will have been long dissolved. We rather need cool heads and well thought through plans and programmes in our collective resolves to weed out corruption from the football circles and other sport administration. By so doing, we may not be seen to be compounding the problems of the nation regarding liabilities that any knee jerk reaction might cause the football administration in the country.
The Companies Act, 2013 with the relevant Chapters regarding the operations of companies in Ghana in general and GFA in particular, has details on the way to go whenever a company is to be wound up. We therefore, expect government to explore all avenues in this matter to do the right thing. If in doing the right things and we even have to be banned by FIFA, we can walk chest out as a nation to tout our success story in the fight against corruption in football administration in the country.
We are more concerned about the liabilities that the country might be saddled with if we go ahead to exercise any action without resorting to the appropriate laws. A dissolution of the GFA for instance will mean that all national teams cannot take part in any FIFA and CAF sanctioned competitions, the local league will come to a halt, Clubs in international competitions will have to retreat among others.
We will like to conclude by commending the Minister of Justice and Attorney General and her team for the first step success by securing a ten (10) day injunction on the GFA from the courts. This decision will keep all officials away from the premises of the GFA for the period and to give way to necessary pieces of evidence needed to be gathered to make a solid case to nail the corrupt officials. Government must be on top of all plans in this fight to get the best outcome because this is not the time to show who or which of the institutions is more powerful.
By : Felix Djan Foh. President. PIRAN-GH. 0244691605.
Timothy Fiadzoe. Secretary. PIRAN-GH. 0244471923
James Kweku Dumenyah. Acting Co-ordinator. PIRAN-GH. 0244891147