Ministry Moves To Head Off FIFA Sanctions
BURDENED with the responsibility of seeing Ghana's football through the turbulence of a looming threat by world football governing body, FIFA, the Ministry of Education and Sports is making frantic efforts to calm the storm and see to the sailing of the the nation's passion to safety.
Consequently, the ministry is instructing the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to, as a matter of urgency, write to FIFA and inform it about a new Sports Bill which will be presented to Parliament at its next session to be passed into law, taking care of all the concerns raised by FIFA and bring some sanity into football administration in the country.
The Deputy Minister, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, in an interview with the Graphic last Sunday said, FIFA officials have had preliminary discussions with the sector Minister. The Minister instructed the GFA to inform FIFA about the Sports Bill and how the blueprint would reform the structures of Ghana football once it was passed into law.
Among other things, the bill seeks to streamline sports administration in the country, modernising it to conform to modern trends and in line with the demands of international bodies.
The Sports Bill will clearly define the roles of the various officials appointed to run sports, and for that matter football in the country. Such clearly defined roles, it is expected, will see the end of the distractive power struggle that has ensued between the GFA Management Board Chairman, Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, and the FA's Executive Council which is currently being battled in the law courts.
" I have not been privy to the letter FIFA sent to the GFA, but discussions between them and the Minister bordered on the same issues and I believe that the only way out for the restructuring will be the end of the SMC decree that has governed sports administration in general in this country," the Deputy Minister emphasised.
"At the moment, there is very little we can do as we do not want to do anything to suggest that we are inteferring and attract the kind of attention Nigeria has attracted from FIFA. That is why from the onset, we tried to find a solution to the problem, but unfortunately, the GFA Chairman saw things differently," he said.
FIFA, in a letter dated March 23, 2005, asked the GFA to forward a roadmap that would effect the desired changes in the statutes, and “the answer to that roadmap and the redraft of the statutes is the Sports Bill," the Deputy Minister emphasised.
Unlike Nigeria which had a deadline, there is no deadline for Ghana to work out the changes, but they must take immediate steps towards the completion of the process.
The GFA is also to furnish FIFA with a detailed time frame for the completion of the various steps of the process to re-draft its statutes after which it will have to hold an emergency Extraordinary Congress to elect new officers under the supervision of CAF and FIFA.
FIFA also expressed its dissatisfaction with the fact that Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe was carrying his fight to the law courts in clear violation of FIFA's statutes.
As the issue reached a critical stage last Sunday, the GFA Chairman told BBC Sports that he had not received any letter from FIFA and accused the FA General Secretary, Mr Kofi Nsiah, of pitching camp with the Executive Council and thus hiding such a letter from him.
Efforts to reach Mr Nsiah for his comment on the issue proved futile as he could not be contacted either at home on his cell phone or at his office.