FIFA bans Nyantakyi; he apologises to Akufo-Addo, others
The FIFA Ethics Committee has banned the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, from all football-related activities for 90 days after he was filmed receiving $65,000 in cash from an undercover reporter.
The duration of the ban, handed down by Mr Skouris Vassiloos, the Chairperson of the Investigatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee of FIFA, may be extended for an additional period not exceeding 45 days.
During his suspension, Mr Nyantakyi, who doubles as a FIFA Council member, is banned from all football activities, both national and international, with immediate effect.
The ban comes on the heels of the screening of an investigative documentary, titled #Number 12, which captured Mr Nyantakyi allegedly engaged in some acts of corruption.
A statement from FIFA’s Ethics Committee said the decision was taken on the request of the chairperson of the Investigatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee, who was carrying out a formal investigation into the dealings of Mr Nyantakyi.
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"The decision was taken upon the request of the chairperson of the Investigatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee carrying out the formal investigation proceedings into Mr Nyantakyi, pursuant to Article 83 paragraph1 and Article 84 paragraph 2 of the FIFA Code of Ethics," the statement said.
Mr Nyantakyi, who is in his third term in office as President of the GFA, was elected to the position in December 2005, as a successor to Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe.
Following the scandal that hit the GFA, the government last Thursday cracked the whip and suspended all GFA-sanctioned activities, and said it was taking steps to dissolve the association in a bid to sanitise football administration.
A statement signed by the Information Minister, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, said “government is shocked and outraged at the contents of the recently aired video documentary, which captures the investigation conducted into football administration by the investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, titled ‘Number 12: When Misconduct and Greed become the Norm.’
“The documentary exposes gross malfunctioning of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) characterised by widespread fraud, corruption and bribery,’’ the statement added.
“As a result of the pervasive nature of rot within the GFA, government has, therefore, decided to investigate the conduct of all officials of the GFA, together with that of the suspended acting Director-General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Robert Sarfo Mensah, shown in the documentary to be involved in questionable, potentially criminal acts, is, forthwith, referred to the Police for further investigation and appropriate action,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the embattled GFA President, Mr Nyantakyi, yesterday resigned his position as president in the aftermath of undercover investigations by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
The resignation of the GFA boss came after an hours-long crunch meeting of the Executive Committee of the association to determine the status of the association, following the decision by the government to initiate processes to dissolve the body.
A statement by Mr Nyantakyi, whose name has been on the lips of many Ghanaians since the premiering of Anas’ Number 12 documentary of damning evidence against him, stated: “After a meeting of the Executive Committee this afternoon, I decided to resign as President of the Ghana Football Association.
“It stemmed out of the controversies generated by the investigative report by Tiger Eye PI. In the said report I committed a series of errors of indiscretion. I gravely associated the highest office of the land – the Presidency - with private discussions I had with “scammers” who deceived me into thinking they were genuine persons interested in investing in our country.
“I hereby apologise unreservedly to the father of the Nation, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, H.E. the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State for indiscretion in associating them with the private conversations on the video.
“I wish to clarify that at no time prior to or subsequent to any deliberations on the video did I consult, contact or inform any government official about discussions on the video. I take sole and personal responsibility for the proceedings on the video.
“I wish to apologise to my family, work colleagues, friends, associates and the people of Ghana for the disappointment my indiscretion has caused them. This is by no means an admission of wrongdoing for issues on the video.”
The meeting of the GFA executive in Accra already portended the resignation of the president who had been at the helm of the GFA for 13 years due to police investigations that had already begun into his conduct as shown in the undercover documentary.
The likelihood of his decision to resign was also due to the numerous calls for his resignation in the face of damning evidence against him coupled with a 90-day ban placed on him earlier yesterday by FIFA.
According to sources, Mr Nyantakyi's exit was expected to ease tension and a potential standoff with the government which had indicated its intention to dissolve the GFA.
The investigation carried out by Anas on corruption in Ghana football captured Mr Nyantakyi and some GFA Executive Committee members, including Nii Komiete Doku and Linear Addy, in a secret video recording allegedly accepting bribes.
After the video had been shown to the public, Mr Nyantakyi, the implicated executive committee members and more than 100 referees and officials of the GFA have come under intense pressure from the Ghanaian public to quit their roles.