Match fixing scandal: GFA vows to haul Telegraph to court
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) says it is dragging the UK newspaper, Telegraph to court to prove allegations its president agreed to fix international matches involving the Black Stars.
Kwasi Nyantakyi is incensed by a report he described as “inaccurate”, a “representation of half truths and half lies.”
The football fraternity has been hit by a scandal in which the Telegraph newspaper alleged both in print and online that Ghana’s FA president had agreed to fix matches.
A secret video recording of the meeting accompanied the story which was posted on the telegraph website.
The report claimed ‘The Telegraph and Channel 4’s Dispatches launched a six-month investigation into match-fixing after receiving information that some football associations were working with criminal gangs looking to rig scores in international games.
‘ Reporters from The Telegraph and a former Fifa investigator claimed they represented an investment company that wanted to ‘sponsor’ games. Christopher Forsythe, a registered Fifa agent, along with Obed Nketiah, a senior figure in the Ghanaian FA, boasted that they could employ corrupt officials who would rig matches played by Ghana.
‘ The president of the country’s football association then met the undercover reporter and investigator, along with Mr Forsythe and Mr Nketiah, and agreed a contract which would see the team play in the rigged matches, in return for payment. ‘
While admitting he met the men involved, Ghana’s FA president said the circumstances under which the meeting was held had been totally misrepresented.
He explained that he met the representatives of the supposed company because of an offer to buy the rights to organise international matches for Ghana, and not to fix them.
He said at no point in that meeting was the assertion of a match fixing made.
“It is not true we have arranged with match fixers,” he swore, insisting the report was not only to impugn his integrity but that of the country.
He said a supposed contract that was to give the rights to the company to organise international matches on behalf of Ghana had been forwarded to the legal committee of the GFA to consider and advice. That advice was yet to come, he clarified.
Among other invectives, the FA chairman believed the publication by The Telegraph is part of a racist agenda by some English press to divert attention from their poor showing at the World Cup and to “rubbish the achievements of Africans”.
This matter must be resolved in court, he stated adding he will “provide them an opportunity to answer in court.”
The FA spokesperson Ibrahim Sannie Daara told Joy News the Telegraph report was a “crude cut and paste job done” by the newspaper and the website.
He explained the supposed representatives of the company together with Obed Nketiah invaded Ghana’s training ground in Miami, US, without an appointment but the FA president decided to meet with them out of courtesy for the Ghanaian who was with them.
He said the reps came to follow up on the proposal by the company to buy the rights to organise international friendly matches for Ghana and they were told by the FA president that he had not seen the contract which was sent to the FA’s legal team and that the contract was yet to be approved.
Sannie Daara said the Telegraph report deliberately cut out the portion in which the FA president said that the FA’s legal team was looking at the contract and would respond accordingly.
He said contrary to the Telegraph report in UK that a contract had been signed with the Ghana FA to fix international matches, no contract had been signed and that the contract before the FA’s legal committee is a contract to organise international matches and not to fix matches.
The FA spokesperson said they have reported the case to FIFA, CAF and the IGP and soon the two Ghanaian representatives who allegedly met the company on behalf of the FA will be picked up.
He said the Telegraph is now “clutching at straws” and making unfounded allegations.
He said the report has had a toll on the players but said they are trying hard to insulate the players from the situation.
Meanwhile, lawyers for the two Ghanaians involved in the scandal have also described the Telegraph report as “half-baked”.
A statement issued by their solicitor, Tua Yeboah Alfred said they will take action at the appropriate time.
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