A former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Lepowura Alhaji M.N.D. Jawula has proposed the introduction of term limits for the president of the association.
According to him, such a move would help deal with the acrimony associated with the position.
Kicking against a proposal to return to the period where the government used to have a say in who becomes President of the GFA, Alhaji Jawula said: “What we can do in my opinion is that, this system is ok, it's not very bad except that we should begin to have term limits.”
“The President who comes now like it is done with FIFA and CAF and in the state of Ghana, should have two terms, so that cuts down all the acrimony and on what people think is being done and should not be done. This system is good, the clubs elect their people but there should be term limits,” he said in a radio interview with Accra based Joy FM.
In the wake of the Anas exposé on alleged corruption in football, a sports enthusiast and suspended General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwabena Agyapong, has called for reforms that will give the President of the Republic the power to nominate the President of the Ghana Football Association.
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Mr Agyapong thinks that the former system where the President nominated two persons to be considered for the position of FA President by the GFA Congress must be revisited.
“I am going to make a pronouncement which will sound very controversial. From independence, the President always nominated the FA Chairman and so there was a good nexus between the government and football. A clear example was Nkrumah and Ohene Djan.”
“It was the same during the PNDC and the NDC eras. E.T. Mensah will nominate two people and bring them to football congress and one will be chosen. The clubs will also select the Vice-Chairman,’’ he said.
The suspended NPP scribe explained that football would not be affected if the President nominated the FA President.
But reacting to Mr Agyapong’s proposal in the radio interview, Alhaji Jawula who is familiar with the challenges and successes of the system explained the previous appointment was not done directly by the President of the Republic.
It was rather the sports minister who in those days would nominate two persons and then the GFA committee would vote and decide who to be the president and the other would be Vice President. Usually the other one was the nomination of the clubs, he explained.
“Yes the idea is good but we’ve gone long past that because right now, FIFA definitely will frown on direct government interference,” Alhaji Jawula said.
Responding to concerns on why the President of the Republic cannot interfere with the affairs of the FA but when it comes to funding the national teams, the FA rely on government, Alhaji Jawula said, “I agree it is a bit interesting the way it is.”
“But I think the status of the GFA can be so programmed to have government representatives on it. For instance they could say for the executive committee of the GFA the ministers can bring on board three representatives, and also past presidents of the GFA should serve on it in such a way that issues are diluted beyond people thinking that the GFA president has taken over all the activities and nobody has any say,” he said.
"I believe if other people are brought on board, …then it definitely assists whoever is the president in taking decisions on Ghana football,” he added.
Should Nyantakyi step aside?
Touching on whether Mr Kwasi Nyantakyi should step aside in the wake of the fraud allegations against him for investigations to continue, the Lepowura said it is a decision of President Nyantakyi.
“Perhaps if his executive committee had lost confidence in him or if in anyway they were giving indications as to that, that will be easy for him but only last week they held a meeting and said they have confidence in the President and having said that, he [Nyantakyi] will be letting them down if he stepped down.
“I think let's give President Nyantakyi some time, he is facing all manner of inquiries, investigations and threats and pressures. He is a human being, let's give him some time to reflect over all this and I’m sure he himself will come up with something that is good for him and Ghana as a whole.”
Asked whether he agrees with the executives, he said: “No, I have no say, it's not a question of whether I agree or not, I don’t have a vote, I’m only giving an opinion,” he indicated.