Last week, we had occasion to admonish the Executive Council (ExCo) of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to take a second look at the disbursement of the FIFA and CAF Emergency Relief Fund to let sanity prevail on the football front.
We specifically suggested to the GFA to consider waiving the allocation for national teams, as well as the quota for media capacity building, for instance, for obvious reasons.
It is common knowledge that the various national teams are funded by the state, so setting aside part of the constrained COVID-19 relief money meant for members of the association would certainly raise some eyebrows. And it did.
Again, aside from the fact that it was not the FA’s duty to build the capacity of media personnel, we thought it was completely out of place to take $7,000 out of the relief fund for that purpose. No wonder most male clubs in the Premiership and Division One agitated against the deductions.
Quite understandably, the clubs stand to gain more in the event of the withdrawal of the allocation for all national teams, which amounts to $484,000.
However, it is refreshing to note that the GFA ExCo engaged Premier and Division One League clubs in the past week to discuss matters arising out of the disbursement and the way forward. While giving the GFA leadership the plaudits for deciding to give audience to the clubs on the issue, we hope to see it do the needful to ensure peace and also erase any lingering doubts in the minds of some ‘football people’.
Again, withdrawing the money meant for the national teams can also save the GFA the trouble of running into avoidable banter with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, which is known to be responsible for funding the various national teams on behalf of the state.
We believe that this is the right time to address the grievances of the clubs, which are the main members of the association, even before the money hits the FA’s accounts in the coming days.
Having been asked to wait for their fair share of the FIFA Emergency Relief Fund when the clubs pressed for a portion of the FIFA Forward money earlier in the year, we think it is only appropriate that the FA honours its word to lay the matter to rest.
We wish to advise the GFA again to take a cue from this rift and engage key members of the association in consensus-building when it comes to issues of such nature to avoid any further controversies in future.
Having come from a normalisation process, it goes without saying that the whole world is watching the GFA to get its act right, especially when it comes to financial management.
We sincerely believe that must be the guiding principle for the FA to help make inroads with its ‘Bring Back The Love’ mantra.