History must be our guide (II)

Author: Ebo Kwaitoo

Some call it the Law of Karma, but the Bible refers to it in Genesis 8:22 and Galatians 6:7 as the Law of Sowing and Reaping or the Law of the Seed.

This is one principle which plays out in every facet of human life. You simply cannot wish it away. Only the foolhardy and stiff-necked would risk it to their detriment.

The more the government and Ghanaian clubs make frantic efforts to clean the mess and ensure a new Ghana Football Association ( GFA), the more the skirmishes of the last major reforms at the FA reverberate in my memory. That is why I keep shouting from the rooftop to the hearing of all those who matter in the ongoing process.

Surely, there are a myriad of lessons to learn from the past 14 years to improve upon the standard of Ghana football. And if government has decided to ‘help’ the GFA to clean up, courtesy the so-called Anas project, so be it. After all, the State has a major stake in Ghana football. That is an undeniable fact!

The hypocrisy of some so-called ‘football people’ stinks, to say the least! For instance, I still cannot understand why the once-vibrant Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) became so moribund during Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi's 13-year reign as GFA president only to resurrect after his resignation. During those silent years, one voice which popped up intermittently to speak truth to power (apologies to Chairman General, Kwami Sefa-Kayi) was that of the current GHALCA chairman, Mr Kudjoe Fianoo.

But even that was pooh-poohed by Fianoo's critics as mere sour grapes coming from a disgruntled person who had lost his seat on the Executive Committee (ExCo) of the FA.

Another difficulty has to do with why the remaining ExCo members feigned deaf ears to GHALCA’s recent call to step aside to pave the way for an emergency congress to draw a roadmap for reforms and fresh elections.

Come to think of it, GHALCA, which is an umbrella body of the clubs, is still a kingmaker in Ghana Football and can therefore make or unmake any individual or group of people if it decides to. Of course, the FA president and, for that matter all the ExCo members, were elected into office by the clubs, save one – Leanier Addy, who got her mandate from the constituent bodies, comprising referees, schools, etc.

That is how powerful GHALCA is in the scheme of Ghana Football. You either play ball with them or laugh at the wrong side of your mouth during elections. That is why I think the decision to resist GHALCA is not in the interest of the dissolved or dissolving or to be dissolved ExCo.

I understand the ExCo’s desperation to hang on to power and see through their four-year mandate, which is barely ahead away. But the reality is that, we are not living in normal times.

Talking about the GHALCA-ExCo rift reminds me of how the J.Y. Appiah-led GHALCA dealt with the then GFA chairman, Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, when the forthright Hearts board member decided to flex his muscles with the club’s welfare body in 2004. Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe decided to push for reforms at the GFA through the then Sports Minister, the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, who nominated him to power but the clubs resisted it and summoned him through the then apex body, Executive Council, to explain himself or risk being impeached.

The thick-skinned Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe turned down the request and rather sought refuge in court. However, after the back and forth, the court finally ruled in favour of the clubs to go ahead of impeach him. However, Nyaho jumped before he was pushed by deciding to resign honourably to avoid any embarrassment. Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe is how powerful GHALCA, or the clubs, can be if they decide to be militant.

I hope the ExCo members who don’t want to play with GHALCA will take a cue from that narrative.

It is also the reason why I blame GHALCA squarely for where the GFA and Ghana Football find themselves now. Had the clubs been vigilant as before, we would not have been where we are today.

GHALCA simply did not help Nyantakyi with their vibrant gate-keeping role as before. It is significant to note that Nyantakyi was then a former vice chairman of the GFA on the ticket of GHALCA. No wonder some of the accusations they levelled against Nyaho came full circle, plus more, during Nyantakyi's 13-year reign. The law of the seed was at play.

I will only admonish the ExCo members to hasten slowly in their bid to hang on to power with the role of GHALCA always in view. I maintain that had Nyantakyi received the necessary guidance, he would have ended up as one of the best football administrators this nation has ever produced. Even now, his achievements locally and his rise to CAF and FIFA attest to that, but for the blot.

We reap what we sow indeed. That is why I think Nyantakyi's former vice, George Afriyie, is also an endangered specie.
I will throw more light on that in my next piece, all things being equal.