The board chairman of Accra Hearts of Oak, Togbe Afede XIV, is advocating comprehensive reforms in Ghana football and wants clubs to work closely with the two-man liaison team set up jointly by FIFA and the government to oversee the participation of national teams in upcoming international competitions until normalcy is restored in football administration in the country.
The Hearts boss was among prominent club officials and the leadership of the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) who met with the liaison team, comprising its chairman Dr Kofi Amoah and GFA Technical Director, Francis Oti Akenten, at the Swiss Spirit Hotel and Suites Alisa Accra on Monday, July 9 to deliberate on ways to restore organised football in Ghana.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the business magnate and majority shareholder in Hearts said the direction taken by FIFA and the government towards reforming the game was in the right direction, and noted also that the situation afforded football administrators a fine opportunity for “total restructuring” to re-establish confidence in the game.
Dr Amoah, a onetime management board member of the GFA management board, reminded the club administrators that Ghana football had reached a crossroad where it needed to be managed and administered with the highest ethical considerations. He, therefore, tasked them to submit proposals on areas of reforms, including possible amendments of the GFA statutes, for consideration, as the government and football’s world governing body took steps to restructure the game.
Organised football in the country has come to a standstill since June 9 after the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Secretariat at Ridge in Accra was designated a crime scene and cordoned off by the police as it investigates the FA and its officers in the aftermath of an exposé which uncovered widespread corruption in Ghana football.
The GFA is in court seeking to overturn an injunction obtained by the government on all football activities in the country and also restrains the FA and its officials from carrying out any official duties as part of the government’s efforts to dissolve the football regulatory body and restructure it to restore public confidence in the game.
Currently, there is a leadership vacuum at the FA following the resignation on June 8 of its long-standing president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, after the Ethics Committee of FIFA slapped him with a 90-day provisional worldwide ban from all football activities pending investigations into suspected ethical violations by the Ghanaian, a member of the decision-making FIFA Council. The former CAF First Vice President was secretly filmed in a hotel room allegedly negotiating kickbacks from undercover businessmen interested in investing in Ghana football.
Nyantakyi, who led the GFA for 13 years, is also under police investigation after President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo reported the fallen football administrator to be investigated for criminally using his name and that of other leading government officials to solicit money from the undercover investigators who posed as businessmen in the sting operation led by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas of Tiger Eye PI.