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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Kwabena Yeboah: Fifa Won’t Hesitate To Ban Ghana


Renowned Sports Writer, Kwabena Yeboah says the World Football Governing Body, Fifa, will not hesitate to ban Ghana if the Economic and Organised Crimes Unit (EOCO) goes ahead to prosecute officials of the Ghana Football Association.
Fifa, according to a Reuters news report has given Ghana until Sunday, December 12, to stop interfering in GFA’s activities else there could be “adverse consequences”. FIFA’s warning came after plain-clothed officers from the Economic and Organised Crimes Unit raided the GFA headquarters on Tuesday December 7, and removed nine computers and took the mobile phones of some staff.
FIFA has urged the Ghanaian authorities to reconsider their actions to avoid the deepening of a crisis which will only bring adverse consequences for football lovers in Ghana. The Sepp Blatter led body has said the matter would be referred to its emergency committee, which could suspend the GFA, if the Sunday deadline is not met.
Speaking to Citi News on the latest development, Mr. Kwabena Yeboah said it would be very important at this time for the EOCO operatives to immediately return the gadgets and find ways of solving the impasse.
He said an attempt to prosecute officials of the FA based on evidence gathered by EOCO, will still be seen by Fifa as interference which could lead to a ban.
He likened the current situation in Ghana to that of Nigeria, where the country’s NFA was sued for allegedly mismanaging funds allocated to it by the Federal Government ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
According to Mr. Yeboah, Fifa ended up banning Nigeria three days to their game against Equatorial Guinea in the African Cup of Nations Qualifier. He said the Nigerian Court had no option than to withdraw the suit after which Fifa lifted the ban.
“let’s not forget that not too long ago, Fifa had written to Ghana, warning us about possible Governmental interference. So what happened on Tuesday would seem to confirm to Fifa that indeed there is an involvement of a third party in the affairs of the GFA. People must know that what they think about Fifa does not matter; it is what their laws state. If you no longer wish to be a member of the Fifa fraternity, you can play football in your backyard. But as long as you decide to be part of Fifa, you have to be very careful how you position yourself and this warning must be taken seriously” he cautioned.
“The EOCO Boss has told me that the Fifa letter did not suggest that even if there is incriminating evidence, they could not proceed to prosecute them. And he made it abundantly clear that they will prosecute if they found any evidence and I think that is exactly what Fifa is reminding us of, and they will not hesitate to ban Ghana” he added.
Mr. Kwabena Yeboah said Government’s position that EOCO is independent of Government does not matter to Fifa. According to him, Fifa’s laws state unequivocally that no government can look into funds internally generated by FAs and that which is given by Fifa, except that which Governments allocate to their Associations.
According to the renowned Sports Writer, although this position of Fifa has constantly been challenged by various Governments especially in Africa, “the law is what it is for now”.
“If they (EOCO) believe that they have gotten whatever they want from the computers and decide to embark on prosecution, Fifa will immediately jump in and ban Ghana. It is as simple as that”.

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