Over the past three weeks, Ghana has been rocked by the release of a shocking video on a long, painstaking investigation into the operations of the much-loved game of football in Ghana, known in North America as “Soccer”. The investigations that were conducted over a two-year period by an undercover Journalist called Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Organization known as Tiger Eye PI has rocked the foundations of football administration in Ghana to its core. It depicted a rotten organization that was overseeing the administration of a game whose conduct has lost all credibility.
From top football administrators, Club Managers to Referees, the investigative reports threw a powerful searchlight on the extremely rotten nature of sporting activities in the country. The shocking piece of this expose was the brazen shameless attempts by the top football administrator of Ghana football, Kwesi Nyantekyi, to use the name of the President and Vice President of the country to scam and dupe people to part with money to enrich himself and his corrupt cronies. It detailed how the top football administrators were engaged in serious criminal activities including money laundering.
We have all suspected for a long time that something was not right with the management, organization and administration of sports generally, and football in particular in Ghana. We suspected that the administration and organization of the beautiful game of football was shrouded in some criminal secrecy and scheming. We suspected that the Sports Ministry and its activities have been shrouded around some mafia-like activities. When people complained, they were dismissed. When once upon a time a Sports Minister, named Mallam Issa attempted to clean just the tip of the rot at the Sports Ministry, those pot-bellied guys in that Ministry schemed, entrapped him and got him jailed for a crime of stealing forty thousand US Dollars, which later events proved, was just a set-up.
In 2014, a whole government carried a whooping amount of three million US dollars on an aircraft and flew it to Brazil to go and distribute to rampaging and striking football players and their corrupt administrators. Which government manned by people who have their heads properly screwed on would carry this load of cash into another country? But yes, the Mahama government did, and after the abysmal performance of the national football team at that World Cup series in Brazil in 2014, they set up a meaningless enquiry into what went wrong, as if they did not know. The Report of this so-called enquiry was never implemented. The top government officials who were fingered for wrong-doing by the Committee of Enquiry were promoted and thanked for being thieves.
Going by the latest expose on high-level and deep-seated corruption in the administration of sports generally, and football in particular in Ghana by this patriotic son of the nation, popularly known as “Anas”, it will be in the interest of the nation if we took a long break from all major competitions, both local and international, and did a radical examination of the administration and organization of sports in Ghana. The nation has not collapsed since the debacle of 2014 and our non-participation in the on-going World Cup competition in Russia in 2018. The country will be better off if we all sit back, examine in detail what has gone really wrong over the years and come up with very credible ideas on the way forward.
All those pot-bellied administrators around Sporting organizations and agencies in Ghana, especially around football, should be retired to go and spend their stolen booty and allow the nation to reboot. This is not the time for half-baked measures on sports administration and organization. The rot is deep. In that vein, we fully support the Ghana government’s stance in attempting to reorganize football administration in the country starting with the dissolution of the Ghana Football Association.