Ghanaian government agrees to work with FIFA to avoid ban
Ghana and FIFA have agreed on a roadmap to reform football administration in the west African country.
Following a threat by FIFA to Ghana, the government on Thursday pledged to stop the process to dissolve the country’s football association (GFA) over corruption allegations. After discussions in Zurich between a four-member delegation from Ghana and the world football’s governing body, both sides reached an agreement to appoint a normalization committee to run the GFA.
In a statement, FIFA said they had agreed to work together "to offer leadership in reforming football administration in Ghana and in Africa’ and that it would be working with the government ‘to eradicate corruption and malfeasance and other associated criminal conduct from the administration of football in Ghana."
However, the football’s governing body did not explicitly state that it had withdrawn its threat to suspend the GFA, as a court case to dissolve the GFA has not yet been withdrawn by the Ghanaian government.
Corruption scandal in Ghana
Back in June, the Ghanaian government dissolved the country’s Football Association (GFA) a day after officials, including the body’s president, were shown in a documentary engaging in acts of corruption.
Sports Minister Isaac Asiama confirmed the dissolution, claiming that its officers can no longer carry themselves as FA officials. "When we say the FA is dissolved it means all functions, all activities are all dissolved", he said on Ghanaian radio show Top Story.
Former GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi – who was also vice-president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and a member of the FIFA Council – was pictured taking $65,000 from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman from a Middle Eastern company wanting to invest in Ghanaian football. Correspondents claim that had the fictious deal gone ahead, he could have made $4.5m from the diversion of funds.
The exposé was part of controversial undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ documentary entitled Number 12, a production that shows over 100 African football officials accepting ‘cash gifts'.
However, the decision to halt football didn’t go well with FIFA, as the governing body gave Ghana until 27 August to reverse the court order that dissolved the GFA. Amid all these, if the Ghana government fails to withdraw the court order, the country will be banned until further notice.