Opinion | Sep 5, 2018

What's The Way Forward With GFA...And What About The Final Punishment For Kwesi Nyantakyi?

Corruption scandal in "Ghana money-ball", not football.

Football is popular sport in Ghana, a sport that produces emotions like no other. Now corruption allegations shake the Football Association of the West African state, raised by a controversial and very prominent journalist.

Together with his staff, Anas Aremeyaw Anas offered money to football officials and referees from Ghana and other African countries. If they accepted, there was a microphone and a hidden camera. The screening of the research film has triggered a storm in Ghana. Anas Aremeyaw Anas is Ghana's most famous journalist, he produced the film together with the British BBC. A man seen in Anas movie stuffing cash in a plastic bag is Kwesi Nyantakyi. President of the National Football Association of Ghana. Vice President of the African Football Association a member of the FIFA Council.

Journalist Anas accuses Nyantakyi of accepting cash. Anas camera team filmed it. Anas says: "On this occasion, he, Kwesi Nyantakyi accepted $ 65,000 from us, and the laws of FIFA, the African and Ghanaian Football Associations are very clear: gifts can not be accepted." President of the National Football Association of Ghana Nyantakyi wanted $ 4.5 million for himself. However, the allegations of the journalist against football official Nyantakyi are not exhausted. Anas and his colleagues had told Nyantakyi that they were business people who wanted to sign a sponsorship agreement for the Football Association of Ghana. Nyantakyi met with them.

Nyantakyi says in the film, "We are starting a company ..." The documentary film is heard and seen as suggesting that a brokerage firm be formed for the deal. In addition, journalist Anas claims, the official himself wanted to earn this business. Anas says, "If the business had gone like this, Nyantakyi would have received $ 4.5 million out of a total of $ 15 million that was agreed upon...over more than 100 officials and referees."

Kwesi Nyantakyi has since resigned as President of the National Football Association. FIFA has blocked him for a provisional 90 days. Nyantakyi says he made "some mistakes" and was "fed up with scammers who pretended he really wanted to invest in Ghana". Why he has accepted $ 65,000 in cash, whether he himself wanted to earn millions on the sponsorship agreement - to date, there is no clear statement from him.

This also applies to many others who are accused in the film. Overall, Anas and his colleagues have compiled a list of more than 100 football officials and referees. They all should have accepted money. Many come from Ghana, but also referees from the Ivory Coast, Gambia or Kenya were filmed at the kick-off. West Africa's football world is in shock. Anas Aremeyaw Anas, his colleagues and the BBC, however, explicitly add to their allegations that they have no concrete evidence as to whether and possibly how football matches in Ghana's league or the African Champions League have been manipulated by payments to arbitrators. However, the documentary shows several extremely dubious penalty decisions. They were met by (corrupt and greedy) umpires who accepted money. "That's very disappointing." Ghana's football fans are appalled, but not really surprised. Rumors of corruption in football have been around for a long time: "It was good that these people have been exposed," Ghana's football fans. "I think that's completely right."

A lot of right thinkers are worried about Ghana's reputation in the world: "The whole world now thinks that we have overtaken Nigeria as the most corrupt country in Africa, which is very disappointing." But there is also sharp criticism of the actions of journalists Anas Aremeyaw Anas. According to Mr. Charles Bentum, a lawyer in Ghana, "these are unfair decoy, and in the documentary that Anas and the BBC presented to a large audience in the capital Accra. It's wrong to make such decoy offers, then turn around and say - the one who took the money is corrupt, our law says, the giver is as guilty as the taker, so you can not get the decoy off the hook and Condemn victims." But Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas thinks this is wrong. Three years ago, he applied this method to judges and lawyers in Ghana. And secretly filmed how many top lawyers took money and made judgments for it. At the time, Anas defended his actions by saying: "We have not forced anyone to accept the money." More than 25 judges and prosecutors have since been suspended and investigations against them are still ongoing.

The controversial journalist has now come across a documentary about the taker mentality in West African football, apparently in a wasp nest. He gets on the one hand praise, on the other hand hateful criticism. Ghanaian MP Kennedy Agyapong said in a radio interview: "I have material against Anas and should be hung up for the evil things he did to the Ghanaians during this investigation."

Now what is the way forward with GFA and what about the final punishment for Kwesi Nyantakyi? The government of Ghana has announced its intention to dissolve the national football association but did not do it, yet not!

Francis Tawiah (Duisburg - Germany)

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