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On the 8th June, 2018 the Ace Investigative Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas showed his much talked about “Number 12” investigative piece to the Ghanaian public which uncovered some unlawful happenings in Ghana football. The Government, through a communique on 7th June 2018 signed by the then Minister of Information, Dr. Mustapha Hamid to dissolve the body governing football affairs, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) in the country. Following that government sent the Police to close down the GFA Secretariat on 8th of June 2018 at 5pm exactly, sacking all “Innocent workers” from the various offices, the Police went ahead to call a meeting with the workers informing them that the place has been declared a crime scene therefore they are locking all offices until investigation are completed. It must be noted that the innocent workers have still not resumed work and there is no assurance if they will be called back to work since government is still bent on dissolving the association and create a new one with same stakeholders and same mission and vision. Government through the Attorney General’s office applied for an injunction on the activities of the GFA which was granted on the 12th of June 2018 restraining all remaining Executive committee members to hold themselves as such for 10 days, an action which prevented them from meeting the FIFA delegation that came to Ghana. A month later, on the 12th July, the High Court granted an injunction against officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), thereby paving way for the Registrar General to be appointed as the official liquidator of the local football governing body. Before then, the remaining Exco members sent a formal petition to the world governing body about the happenings in Ghana Football. FIFA on the 13th August 2018 wrote a letter to the government in which they were giving an ultimatum to government to withdraw their court case against GFA by August 27 or face a ban.
In the midst all these legal battles we as an organization that seek to promote sports talents on the land wish to make this recommendations to issues :
Recommendation to the Government
We recommend that Government should intensify their investigations into Ghana football and make sure anyone found culpable faces the law. We would advise Government to handle the issue at hand with serious care as the millions of investment of club owners is at stake. Should FIFA go ahead and ban Ghana, the consequences will be huge on the Country and some of which are:
- Government’s investment in the 2018 AWCON will be wasted as Ghana will not be allowed to host the biggest female football continental competition.
- Ghana Black stars (which is sponsored by Government) will not be allowed to engage in any FIFA or CAF Licensed game including the 2019 AFCON.
- Local Football talents will not have a platform to prove their worth, which means club owners cannot sell players to retrieve the heavy investment they make in the teams.
- Aduana Stars continental vision will be cut short as they will be out of the competition automatically.
- Ghana will not be able to register another Association under FIFA (According to FIFA’S ultimatum the ban will be lifted only if the government has written a formal letter to them stating their withdrawal of their case against the current GFA). This only means registering a new federation will not see the ban lifted and so far as government stick to it position of not bringing back the current FA, the Ban will still stand. In other words the ban can be for 1 or 10 years depending on government.
- Government decision to stick to its position risks to affect 480 premier league players (16 Premier clubs x30 players registered by each club) and 1440 Division One club players (16 Clubs by zones x 30 players) not forgetting Management members of these clubs, Division 2 and 3 clubs teams female teams, etc. In all not less than 10000 peoples will be affected by this ban. This number will be added to the unemployed group of the nation.
- The traders around our various stadia will suffer as already the current situation has reduced their daily sales.
In anticipation of all these consequences that will follow after FIFA’s Ban we plead with Government to look at another alternative in solving this issue which is a national concern. Government should consider withdrawing the case from Court and allow the football fraternity to handle the issue.
Victor Elias Seshie
Executive Director CSA (Centre for Sports Advocacy)