Controversies have come thick and fast during the last decade when Kwesi Nyantakyi has bossed Ghana football
By: KickerGH Staff
Since his election in as head of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), bespectacled Kwesi Nyantakyi has overseen several successes, particularly for the country’s national teams, memorably winning the Fifa U-20 World Cup and guiding the Black Stars to three successive appearances at football’s grandest international event, the Fifa World Cup itself. The lows — in the form of pretty ugly controversies — have been as depressing as the highs proved thrilling, however, and have occasionally sent Nyantakyi’s administration careening. Below, KickerGH profiles five of the worst.
A Hollywood-style swoop by Ghana’s Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO) on the GFA’s offices in December 2010 sent tremors through the Ghanaian game so bad that all official football activity in the country was halted while its effect lasted. The raid, as explained by the investigators, was to seek information on commercial sponsorship agreements. And while the increasingly unpopular GFA’s claims of a witch-hunt by the State over a previous stand-off seemed lame to some, a court ruling in its favour on the matter did soothe much of the pain and erase the accompanying embarrassment.
BRAZIL 2014 FIASCO
Arguably the mother of all scandals, this was the one Nyantakyi and his administration seemed least likely to survive — yet they did, and don’t ask us how. Players fussing over ‘delayed’ bonuses on football’s biggest stage, spats between individual dissenting players and authorities (with two of the team’s biggest stars consequently dismissed), all compounded by a humiliating group stage exit — it couldn’t possibly get any worse than that, could it?
A by-product of the scandal described just above, President Nyantakyi claimed before a Commission of Inquiry — set up to investigate the messy details of Ghana’s Brazil 2014 experience — that a ‘co-efficient’ of some 20-odd people shared a small booty of $577,500, the detailed records of which he’s since failed to produce.
As simple and as convincing as that explanation was, Ghanaians roasted the lawyer-turned-adminstrator for months afterwards, only to be informed that such a system of co-efficients had been the norm since Ghana first stepped foot at a Mundial in 2006.
While the gloom surrounding Ghana’s participation at the 2014 Fifa World Cup was still thick, stories emerged about how registered Fifa agent Christopher Forsythe and top Ghana football official Obed Nketiah allegedly elected themselves to “grease the palms” of some GFA bigwigs — presumably including Mr. Nyantakyi — to rig international friendlies involving the Black Stars.
Well, as investigations later revealed, those palms were too busy counting the Black Stars’ appearance fees for the 2014 Fifa World Cup and could thus ill afford to have any grease soil those precious wads that had been flown first-class into Brazil. Mr. Forsythe got served a three-year ban and Nyantakyi — for seemingly the umpteenth time — beat the offside trap, but only just.
The latest scandal the FA has been fingered in has centred around huge sums of money which the Ministry of Youth and Sports reportedly made available to the body for what was termed “unclassified” and “indemnity” payments. Said funds, adding up to a sizable figure quoted to be around $700,000, were allegedly handed out over the course of the Black Stars’ 2014 Fifa World Cup qualification campaign as bribes for opponents to fix matches. The GFA, needless to say, has debunked those accusations, but we probably haven’t heard the last of this.