ON THE FATEFUL DATES OF JUNE 6-7, 2018, AN UNPRECEDENTED BOMBSHELL ON THE SCALE OF A TSUNAMI HIT THE SHORES OF GHANA FOOTBALL, DROWNING THEN PRESIDENT OF THE GHANA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION, KWESI NYANTAKYI, THEN A MEMBER OF THE FIFA COUNCIL.
The screening of the said bombshell, an expose by the globally celebrated undercover journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, was patronized by the high and mighty and the majority of Ghanaians, shocked by the enormity of the revelations and the scale and claims of impropriety.
In consequence, most Ghanaians, home and abroad, demanded full disclosure, and the rule of law in bringing to book potential culprits captured in the exposure including some Ghana FA executive committee members, referees, and some National Sports Authority staff including its boss.
In defiance, the ExCo issued a statement backing its scandalous president at that time, Kwesi Nyantakyi, incensing majority of Ghanaians, who rose up in arms for the dissolution of that body.
Responding, the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, himself the subject of suspicion based on wild claims by the aforementioned Nyantakyi in the said expose, reported same to the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police.
The CID then issued a warrant for the arrest of then veep of African Football, Nyantakyi, who was attending to some football business in Morocco.
Subsequently, Nyantakyi returned to Accra, and was picked up at the Kotoka International Airport for interrogation at Ghana’s Police Headquarters.
Tiger Pi, the investigative firm of Anas Aremeyaw Anas, copied football’s world governing body, Fifa, its evidence on Nyantakyi, petitioning Fifa to ban their council member, among others.
Swiftly, Fifa banned him, provisionally, for 90 days, put in place a two-member Liaison Team to oversee Ghana’s international commitments to Fifa, while the Ghana government had outlawed the exco through a court ruling.
Fifa and the Government of Ghana set on a collision course following court rulings that granted the Registrar of Companies in Ghana control over the assets, including the accounts, of the Ghana FA.
In the course of time, the disgraced Nyantakyi, publicised a letter resigning from all his positions in association football.
Fifa, subsequently, lengthened his ban by 45 days. Yet, even before that period would expire, it banned Kwesi Nyantakyi, for life!
Following protracted and contentious yet skilful negotiations between the Government of Ghana and Fifa, the GoG withdrew its court case which had sought the dissolution of the GFA.
Then, the Government of Ghana and Fifa issued a joint statement replacing the former Ghana FA exco with a Normalization Committee, among others, to oversee a transition of Ghana Football to normalcy.
That four-member NC – headed by Dr. Kofi Amoah, who had bossed the Fifa Liaison Team – was inaugurated on September 13, 2018 on the grounds of the Ghana FA, then declared a crime scene by the Ghana Police.
After three months in office, guiding Ghana football through the turbulent and uncertain times, ekowasmahsports.com sought the attention of Dr. Kofi Amoah, on a number of pertinent issues regarding Ghana football.
ekowasmahsports.com has the great honour and privilege to bring its readers Part One of the hour-long interview, as follows:
ekowasmahsports: Good afternoon, Dr. Kofi Amoah
Dr. Kofi Amoah: Good afternoon, my brother, Ekow Asmah.
EAS: President of the Normalization Committee appointed by FIFA, in the wake of the firestorm, so to speak, that has happened to Ghana Football.
EAS: How are you, today?
DKA: I’m good. I’ve been down with some little cold but I’m much better.
EAS: I appreciate the opportunity given to me at such short notice.
How does it feel to have been in office (as NC president) three months, after the, after the famous Anas expose?
DKA: Well, it’s been, eh, it’s only (been) three months but it looks like it’s been a year. A lot has happened.
EAS: Yea, with you, in particular, you’ve been in office, since the Anas expose, Liaison (Team) all the way till now
DKA: Oh, yea, exactly. So, maybe, that’s why it feels like a year to me, but, eh, that Anas calamity really, eh, it became emotional for some of us.
DKA: And a lot of the football fans, and, and, for me, it is not just the football; it became a reflection of some things that don’t go well, in our national lives.
So, when the President (of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo) put his foot down and said that, ‘No, this cannot happen in the country. We’re going to do something about it’. And Mr. Asmah, if you remember, a lot of Ghanaians were talking about ‘Oh, there’s nothing we can do; this is a Fifa matter; they’ll ban Ghana, and all that’, and I remember, vividly, we had several meetings with the President, some weekend, some work into the night, …
DKA: And I gained a lot of respect for this man, you know.
EAS: You mean (Prez.) Nana Addo.
DKA: Yes. He saw that, look, this thing is more than football, you know, because the upheaval in Kumasi, when they showed it in Accra, …
EAS: That’s what you meant by ‘calamity’?
DKA: Yes, the lines of people, you know, you know, and just, and when they came back and the interviews that they were, and things that they were saying, the leader of the nation had to take that serious.
DKA: So, discussing the strategies to get a reform process going without being banned by Fifa was something that was, eh, on his mind.
And, and, and, and, he put together that team (comprising Deputy Chief of Staff Samuel Jinapor, Sports Minister Isaac Asiamah, then Deputy Information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Deputy Attorney-General Godfred Dame and Dr. Kofi Amoah), and we went to Zurich, and luckily for Ghana, we were able to make a case that we need to restructure our football, and our President wants us to do it within the Fifa family.
So, this is our story. We were able to come back home with a win, a goal and restructure our football …
END OF PART 1: THE STORY, SO FAR.