The government of Ghana and football’s world governing body, FIFA, agreed on Thursday to a road map to reform Ghana football, ending almost two months of uncertainty about the government’s planned action to clean up the game in the county, following an exposé in June on widespread corruption in the administration of the Ghana football.
The road map agreed by the two parties involves the withdrawal of a legal suit to dissolve the Ghana Football Association and the establishment of a normalisation committee to oversee the reforms.
On Thursday, a delegation representing the government met in Zurich with officials of FIFA, comprising its president, Gianni Infantino, and Secretary General, Fatma Samoura, to avert a threat to suspend Ghana from all football activities if the government did not discontinue its legal action against the Ghana FA by midday of August 26.
The intended dissolution of the football governing body was government’s reaction to the documentary from Anas Aremeyaw Anas, titled Number 12, which captured some Ghana FA officials and match officials allegedly being influenced with cash either to fix matches or to bend the rules in favour of their benefactors.
However, until Thursday’s meeting in Zurich — the third meeting between FIFA and the government — guidelines for the government’s intended reform remained unclear except for a June 12 injunction on the activities of the FA and its officials, and the petition to begin liquidation process of the football controlling body.
Since that time, there was a clout of uncertainty hanging over the future of the FA and organised football until Monday, August 13, when football’s world governing body wrote to the government, through the Liaison Team chairman, Dr Kofi Amoah, handing Ghana an August 26 ultimatum to withdraw the case from court, or Ghana risked being banned from international football.
Key among areas agreed by the two parties at Thursday’s meeting was the extinguishment by FIFA in consultation with the government and Confederation of African Football (CAF), a normalisation committee to replace the current Executive Committee of the Ghana FA.
Also, the government shall take steps to discontinue the process for winding up of the Ghana FA.
Below is the chronology of events since May 22, when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was granted private exclusive viewing of the Anas exposé and urged the police to investigate Nyantakyi.
• President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo gets a to watch a private screening of the Anas exposé
•Calls for an investigation of then Ghana Football Association (GFA) president, Kwesi Nyantakyi
May 23: Nyantakyi is picked up at the Kotoka Airport upon arrival from Morocco and interrogated at the Police CID headquarters
June 6: Public screening of Number 12 exposé at the National Theatre, Accra
• FIFA announces three-month suspension of Kwesi Nyantakyi to allow investigation of alleged breach of FIFA Code of Ethics, as per a complaint lodged by Anas Amereyaw Anas
• Nyantakyi resigns from all football roles in GFA, CAF and FIFA
• Police take over GFA headquarters, cordons off the building and designates premises as ‘crime scene’
Attorney General goes to court to secure an injunction on the GFA, its officials and all football activities in the country
• FIFA delegation meets in Accra with government of Ghana team, led by Youth and Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah.
• GFA files response to Attorney General’s petition to High Court for liquidation of the FA
GFA General Secretary, Isaac Addo and two other officials, invited by FIFA for a meeting in Zurich, are prevented from travelling and FIFA revokes invitation
June 29: FIFA meets with government of Ghana delegation in Zurich
July 2: FIFA-CAF two-man Liaison Team made up of Dr Kofi Amoah and Francis Oti Akenten, the Technical Director of the GFA, is announced.
July 5: GFA petitions FIFA over government’s intention to liquidate association
July 9: GFA responds to Attorney General’s suit at the High Court
July 12: High Court grants the motion filed by the Attorney-General for the government to dissolve the GFA.
August 13: FIFA writes to Liaison Team to request the government of Ghana to withdraw from court by midday of August 26, the petition to start liquidation process of the GFA or face suspension from all football activities
August 14: The government of Ghana, through the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac K. Asiamah, responds to FIFA’s letter
August 15: The government announces that a delegation will being sent to Zurich on Thursday to meet with FIFA over the latest development
August 16: FIFA Government of Ghana (GoG) delegation meet in Zurich.
•FIFA withdraws threat of ban, agrees to form a normalisation committee
• GoG agrees to stop liquidation process