An Accra High Court has granted an application by the Attorney-General (A-G) to discontinue with all the processes leading to the liquidation of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
The court also revoked the appointment of the Registrar of Companies as the official liquidator of the GFA, ordering the A-G to surrender to the football association any of its assets it seized.
The court order came after a Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, had moved a motion for the liquidation petition to be discontinued.
Moving the motion at Tuesday's hearing of the case, Mr Dame told the court, presided over by Mr Justice Samuel Asiedu, that the A-G decided to discontinue with the liquidation petition it filed against the GFA on June 11, 2018 since the government had so far achieved the objectives of the petition.
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He said the Government of Ghana (GoG), following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) it signed with the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), had been able to replace the old GFA executives.
“The MoU indicated that the old GFA executive committee will be replaced with an organisation committee from all the structures of the GFA, from president right down to the regional and district executive committee, and today the GFA executive committee has been uprooted entirely.
“We have been able to ensure that FIFA will recognise our rights to enforce our domestic laws and we have been able to achieve this unique objective in spite of preserving the corporate body GFA and this is a hat-trick of success,” he stated.
Speaking to the media after the hearing, Mr Dame said in view of very important national interests, the government engaged with FIFA as part of efforts to reform the football administration and restore integrity into the game.
He gave an assurance that within the next two days, FIFA would constitute a normalisation committee to the administration of football in Ghana, a decision jointly taken by FIFA and the GoG without any controversy.
He said the membership of the committee would be made known to the public and they would assume the powers of the GFA.
He pointed out that the committee would also review the status of the GFA and organise elections for a new GFA executive committee in due course.
The Deputy A-G indicated that although investigations of corrupt practices within the GFA currently were ongoing, there was the need to allow investigative bodies to conduct their investigations in accordance with their own laid-down procedures.
Further to that, he said FIFA, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the GoG had agreed to set up a special joint task force that would have the responsibility to review disciplinary mechanisms available for football and assess the conduct of all persons caught in the Anas Number 12 exposé.
“The task force proper will set up proper disciplinary structures for bringing to book those caught to have engaged in infractions that border on the violation of the domestic laws of Ghana such as stealing and fraud, and such persons will be sanctioned according to the laws of Ghana.
“Indeed, what we have achieved with FIFA was an affirmation of the rights of the Government of Ghana to enforce its domestic laws which FIFA affirmed right from the beginning and the GoG is happy by.
“In the past, people had always used the cloak of football and sanctions within the football industry to prevent an enforcement of the criminal laws of their respective countries, but what GoG has achieved is virtually unprecedented,” he stated.
Departure from past practices
Acknowledging that even though the government had interfered with football by clearly bringing a halt to the operation of GFA, FIFA, in recognition of the legitimacy of the action taken by the GoG, decided to support the GoG.
“FIFA decided to uphold our rights to enforce our domestic law and had indeed proceeded to collaborate with GoG to jointly set up a special joint task force to ensure that it is not only the football laws that are enforced against persons who take money to commit crime and illegalities in football but go beyond to ensure that domestic laws are fully applied.
“The FIFA president has done what constitutes much departure from practices in the past, whereby FIFA ought not to use football as a screen to protect persons who want to commit crime,” the Deputy A-G noted.