Meet the women to reform football
They may not be familiar names within the sporting industry, better known within the corporate and legal worlds, but last week Naa Odofoley Nortey and Lucy Quist took very bold steps into the male dominated world of football management, as part of a FIFA-appointed group tasked to reform Ghana football for the next six months.
Their appointment last Thursday came as a bit of a surprise because they had no previous association with football management at the highest level, but the government and the football’s world governing body, FIFA, recognised Naa Odofoley and Lucy wielded enough clout to help shape up the future of Ghana football.
The two ladies join a group that is headed by business magnate Dr Kofi Amoah and Kofi Dua Adonteng, a legal practitioner with strong corporate and football background.
Dr Amoah, under whose leadership as LOC chairman Ghana organiszed a successful Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2008, is president of the four-member Normalisation Committee with Lucy as the vice president.
It is a fine balance between men with strong football links – Dr Amoah was a former member of the Ghana Football Association’s Management board, while Mr Dua Adonteng has long been associated with the sport as a former board member of Kumasi Asante Kotoko and onetime member of Premier League Board – and women whose legal and corporate backgrounds will greatly help shape up the FA’s Statues, among other important areas of reforms.
The four-member committee shall review the GFA statutes to ensure compliance with the requirements of FIFA and CAF, ran the day-to-day administration of the FA and conduct elections of a GFA executive committee on the basis of the revised GFA statutes for a six-month period.
Naa Adofoley brings on board 14 years of practice at the bar, among other areas of competence, having risen to become a partner at Beyuo & Co, a law firm in Accra.
A methodical trial and appellate lawyer, Naa Adofoley represents several major local and international clients in debt management and collection and has a wealth of experience in this field. She has advised and represented clients on significant key commercial law, real estate and family law disputes.
A football enthusiast who was introduced to the game when she performed her National Service at the National Sports Council 20 years ago, Naa Adofoley has carved a niche for herself in commercial litigation and has been engaged by several major banks as well as non-banking financial institutions in an advisory capacity. She is currently the Board Chairman of Abokobi Area Rural Bank and a member of the Legal Aid Board in Ghana after having done a pro bono legal work for clients of that organisation for over a decade years.
Lucy is a respected business leader in Ghana telecommunications industry, a trained engineer and a provider of innovative business solutions. At 44, she has spearheaded or been a key part of change management in the corporate world, or provided leadership in undertakings which have brought about transformation and left her imprint.
As CEO of Airtel, she was the first Ghanaian female head of a multinational telecom company and the first female to be crowned Telecom CEO of the Year, among many other honours, including the 2014 CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year.
Currently, the CEO of technology and business solutions firm, Quist Blue Diamond, Lucy’s inclusion in the group is a recognition of her exceptional leadership skills, high sense of integrity, strong governance orientation and her ability to manage change. And she loves the football, too
At tiGO, she managed the company’s sponsorship of Kumasi Asante Kotoko and sat on the club’s mmanagement board as the sponsor’s representative.
At Airtel Ghana, she championed the company’s CSR initiative, Airtel Rising Stars, dedicated to unearthing young talented grassroots footballers. l