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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Ghana Risks FIFA Ban


Ghana football is heading for an international ban after the government snubbed a Fifa ruling and stormed the offices of the country’s federation to seize computers and documents seeking to investigate private sponsorship.
Fifa last week warned the government over the consequences of investigating private sponsorship generated by the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
Tuesday’s action is in direct violation of Fifa’s ruling as the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) stormed the GFA’s premises to investigate private sponsorship.
GFA spokesperson Randy Abbey explained that the officers wanted to examine documents relating to sponsorship agreements between the GFA and various corporate bodies.
Abbey told the media that the action of the EOCO officials emanated from a search warrant issued through an ex-parte motion at the court.
“The SFO wrote to us and we responded. The case is pending in court but they said they have a search warrant to look through documents at the GFA.
“It is basically about sponsorship agreements of the GFA.”
Even though government has taken full control over the money it spends on the national teams, attempts have been made by the Serious Fraud Office to probe payments the GFA receives from Fifa, other international bodies and sponsors.
The GFA’s accounts are audited by the Ghana Audit Service while its members scrutinize the accounts, and any private sponsorship money generated.
Fifa insists that the government must stay away from auditing the GFA’s accounts in respect to money received from sources other than government.
“The government of Ghana could audit the GFA accounts related to the attribution of government funds,” the Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke said last week.
“This of course excludes the funds coming from other sources such as Fifa, Caf or corporate sponsors.”
Ghana football has soared over the past few years under Kwesi Nyantakyi’s reign culminating in two successful World Cup appearances in 2006 and 2010.
The Black Satellites gained rave reviews last year after it became the first African side to win the U20 World Cup in Egypt.
Fifa fears that attempts by government elements to interfere in the administration of the sport in the country could undermine Ghana progress in world football.

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