09.09.2003 Sports News

The Mafia In Ghana Soccer

By Herbert Mensah
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Every Ghanaian is deeply saddened about the state of football in Ghana. From club level to national level and over the years they have sat and waited for the appointed administrators to do the right thing and to get their act in order. There has often been the belief that some may not be aware of the facts whereas in reality they are all aware of the facts. They simply perpetuate the fraud to the nation and have no guilty consciences to either do the right thing or bring about change!

The nation bleeds because the game, which we love and have been respected for globally, has been mismanaged. There were many who sought to dump all the wrong doings at the feet or door of E.T. Mensah and now that he is gone matters have rather deteriorated rapidly! The virus is from within. It is not from the very top. It is not from Government. It is from those who have made themselves almost as big as the institution itself and who have been in the seat throughout the years. Occasionally they play musical chairs but by and large they simply cling on the FA and attachments of the FA like barnacles…ugly and unproductive!

They are the mafia who determine fraudulently what happens or does not happen in Ghana soccer. It is they who drive away the sponsorship because of the way and manner in which they manage our game. Money begets money and money is not attracted to negative, persistent and unproductive controversy. This unfortunately is what surrounds our domestic league!

The integrity of our FA is almost at a point beyond discussion. Those who invest nothing and have nothing to lose and everything to gain make decisions and appointments to the nation’s detriment. They have been doing it since the advent of the professional league and they have refused to move with the changing times or the development of professionalism.

Year in and year out the game is brought into disrepute and condoned by the mafia. We have seen the fraudulent misuse of CAF and FIFA monies over the years and we have witnessed and been a part of the May 9th disaster and yet nothing has essentially changed at the FA. The incompetence and fraud has transcended politics moving from one political era into another. The sufferer has been Ghana and Ghanaian football! This year there are a number of incidents which any other FA would have taken strong action on and shown where it stands without waiting to go through a process which is designed by the very people who run matters to allow the status quo to remain unchanged. Indeed inaction and poor judgement is what has characterised the current FA. Poor officiating and appointment of "bad" officials Case in which documents were forged to allow players to be registered and used in this year’s league. The case was thrown out because the time period for the complaint had expired. Match official caught on TV being asked to return ¢3m to the club who had offered it for "fair" officiating and been subsequently cheated. Violence against supporters and club officials Media rights contracts signed by the FA without the proper notice of club chairmen. The poorly negotiated sponsorship "deal" for the 2003 league. We were not a part of the process. The people who run "things" want to do so and benefit for free. They are not concerned with the image of the game and the fact that it is so poorly managed. The poor image is what frightens good money away but then that is how they, the mafia like it! Maybe in their minds the muddier the waters the juicier the fish…for them! "Between You & God" "ACCEPT EACH OTHER JUST AS CHRIST HAS ACCEPTED YOU..." ROMANS 15:7 A college president recently told his graduating seniors: 'It matters little what you've learned here, if in the end you can't find ways of getting along and working things out with others.' Dr. William Glasser says emotional turmoil and misery come from trying to control others through: (1) criticising (2) complaining (3) nagging (4) punishing (5) bribing (6) blaming (7) threatening. When you say, 'I wouldn't have this headache if you'd just tidy up around here', or, 'If you really loved me, you'd do what I ask', you're practising control. Actually, the way we manipulate each other, it's a miracle we've any relationships left!

Where did these habits come from? We saw them practised by teachers, parents and others, and started using them ourselves. And they do work - but only short-term, because as human beings we're all genetically wired to withstand outside pressure. What you resist persists. When you coerce others they usually dig in their heels, or sneak around behind your back. Until you stop trying to control others, your relationships will keep ending in power struggles that make everybody miserable.

So what's the answer? Listen: 'Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you...' That means: (a) admit that, as difficult as it may be, your current tactics don't work (b) remember, 'Where there is no vision, the people perish...' (Proverbs 29:1 . Take time to create a concrete, mental picture of the kind of person you want to become (c) work gradually on changing yourself, by adopting the Scriptural principles you'd like to integrate into your life.

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