The Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Dr Kofi Amoah, has called on the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) to revisit its stipulation on ‘third party’ interference in football following the recent expose' on the Ghana Football Association (GFA) by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
According to him, the corruption and malaise contained in the recent Anas undercover investigations into Ghana football should be condemned forthrightly by all lovers of the game, especially FIFA
A letter written to the President of FIFA, Mr Gianni Infantino, by Dr Amoah stated: “You have expressed on various occasions your determination to exorcise the game of any form of dirt, including corruption in any form.”
“We are aware of FIFA’s position with “third party” interference and I wish to strongly prevail on you my friends at FIFA to revisit this stipulation which unintentionally gives cover for malfeasance to be practised by some football administrators.
“What has been revealed about Ghana football. Blatant bribery of top football administrators and referees. If not dealt with forcefully and quickly, it can cascade to engulf the global football fraternity with unpredictable and uncontrollable downhill force,” the letter said.
It added that when some governments had attempted to root out corrupt and incompetent football administrators in the past, they were met with suspension by FIFA and that such acts tended to shield and embolden corrupt practices in football, with a spillover effect across other important segments of society.
“Dear FIFA President, I urge you to give this matter your serious consideration and attention. Today, it’s Ghana ... yesterday it was Nigeria, Sudan .... who will it be tomorrow?” it asked.
The Number 12
The Anas's expose', which was premiered in Accra last Wednesday and Thursday, captured the President of the GFA, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, and other GFA officials allegedly receiving sums of money to influence some outcomes.
The video attracted hundreds of patrons who cheered, booed, laughed and screamed at the scenes.
The money paid to the officials ranged between GH¢300 and GH¢5,000.
Other forms of inducement to referees, match commissioners and officials included goats, sheep, cooking oil and rice.
The letter said Mr Amoah knew of the dedication and determination of FIFA to improve global football, since “it was made quite clear to me when we shared some time together during your visit to Ghana”.
“I am hopeful that you hear the cries, frustration and disappointment of Ghana’s passionate football lovers and their equally eager and committed political leaders looking for answers that will help chart a new course..., a better course... invigorated, clean and vibrant football enterprise that can add to the development of our nation and not become an albatross of disillusionment and disgust” it said.
It added that “many others in Ghana and Africa would appreciate a workable solution that does not shield football associations from corruption, but gave encouragement for governments to work with FIFA transparently to invest and develop the game for the enjoyment of all”.