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03.06.2005 Football News

FIFA not satisfied with GFA reforms

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FIFA has directed that the size of Congress and the Executive Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) as proposed by the reviewed statutes be slashed.

Football's world authority said the two bodies should be reduced in numbers to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in their operations.

The new statutes proposed a Congress of 150 delegates and an Executive Committee of 24 members, but FIFA maintains that the numbers are too large for the operations of the two institutions.

"The size of Congress with 150 delegates will certainly represent a difficulty for the GFA, in particular, in terms of finances and costs for annual meetings of the Congress," FIFA Deputy General Secretary, Jerome Champagne, said in a letter to the GFA.

A FIFA Legal Committee memo, signed by Heinz Tanler, and attached to Mr Champagne's letter said "the number of Congress delegates should be diminished in order to make sure that the Congress is able to work and to take decisions."

Mr Champagne's letter, which was based on the memo by FIFA's Legal Committee upon a study of the new GFA statutes, proposed an 87-delegate Congress with 123 votes, excluding voting rights for members of the Executive Committee or government-appointed officials.

Indeed, the letter specifically directed a total cut-off of government influence in the administration of football in the country, to such an extent that it frowned on even the presence of three National Sports Council officials on the Executive Committee.

"The presence of representatives of the government or of a government-appointed body such as the National Sports Council (three delegates to Congress and two to the Executive Committee according to Articles 24.1.8 and 29.1.4 respectively), moreover with voting rights, would violate the principle of the autonomy of the sports federations enshrined in the Olympic Charter and in Article 17.1 of the FIFA Statutes," the letter said.

Effectively, the letter advocated the nullification of the existence of Sports Council representatives, all of them appointed by the government, from the membership of the Executive Council.

While praising Ghana for the work done on the review of the statutes, the FIFA Legal Committee in its memo criticised the proposed document for its failure to mention in a specific clause whether or not all bodies will be elected or appointed, as well as its failure to include in a clause that a recourse to ordinary courts is not permitted.

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