Football’s world governing body, FIFA, has given the government of Ghana an August 27 ultimatum to withdraw its application to the High Court to commence liquidation process of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) or risk Ghana being banned from all football-related activities.
In a letter dated July 13 to Dr Kofi Amoah, head of the Liaison team for the GFA, FIFA’s General secretary, Fatma Samoura, stated that the world body considered the government’s legal process to liquidate the FA as “undue influence in the affairs of the GFA” and violates FIFA Statutes.
The FIFA General Secretary expressed concern about the lack of clarity into the government’s investigations and steps it says are being taken to restore integrity into the administration of Ghana football.
“To date, the scope of investigations into the allegations of widespread match-fixing and corruption within the GFA remains unclear. However, the Bureau of the FIFA Council considers the petition introduced by the attorney General to the high Court of justice to start liquidation process off the GFA constitutes undue influence in the affairs of the GFA in contravention of art. 14 par 1 i) and art. 19 par 1 of the FIFA Statutes,” the statement said.
The statement further warned that any such ban on Ghana football would be lifted only if the government withdraws the petition and furnished FIFA with written proof of such a withdrawal.
“In accordance with art 16 par. 3 of the FIFA statutes, if the GFA were to be suspended, it may not exercise any of its membership rights. furthermore, other member associations could not entertain sporting contacts with the GFA,” the FIFA statement noted.
According to the FIFA General Secretary, the world body had be furnished fully with developments in Ghana football since the June 7 airing of a BBC documentary entitled “Number 12″ – When Greed and Corruption become the Norm”, which alleged widespread corruption in Ghana football involving referees and leading officials of the GFA including its former president, Kwesi Nyantakyi.
The chairperson of investigatory chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee, the statement confirmed, had commenced formal investigations into the alleged conduct of Mr Nyantakyi, who at the time of the exposé was a member of the decision-making FIFA Council, who was handed a provisional 90-day suspension for alleged ethical violations.
Following his worldwide suspension from all football activities, Mr Nyantakyi subsequently resigned his post as Ghana FA president, First vice President of the Confederation of African Football and from the FIFA Council.
Kwesi Nyantakyi, former Ghana FA president
On June 7, the Ghana FA’s long-standing president was arrested by the police to assist in investigations following a complaint by President Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo Addo that Mr Nyantakyi fraudulently used his name and office and also that of the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and other leading government officials as captured in the investigative work by Anas Aremayaw Anas of Tiger Eye PI.
On June 12, the High Court in Accra placed an interim injunction on the activities of the GFA following an application by the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo.
The legal battle took another turn in August as some members of the Ghana FA’s Executive Committee are filed a writ at the Supreme Court in Ghana challenging the government’s petition to dissolve the Ghana FA.