By Rahman Osman
Follow on twitter @iamrahmanosman
Ghana FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi says he never harbored any dreams of being Ghana’s FA Supremo ahead of FA elections later this year.
Nyantakyi has formed a close bond with CAF chief Issa Hayatou since taking over the wheels of Ghana Football in 2005 with many tipping him to become the next CAF supremo when his close friend steps aside.
Despite enormous success chalked by the Nyantakyi led administration, he faces several short-comings with the quality of the Ghana league the pick of the low.
Ghanasoccernet.com and Citi FM’s Rahman Osman opens up the man who divides opinions within the Ghanaian football fraternity.
R.O: FA President, can you please tell us when you first got into football?
Kwesi Nyantakyi: Lol I just didn’t get into football, it was a matter of interest. It was around 1997 I was the Accra representative for Upper West Heroes one of the first divisions clubs in this country. That opened a lot of doors for me. I served on the division one league board and got a unique opportunity to work with GHALCA.I continued rising till in 2005 when I became the president of this unique football association.
R.O: Was there a point during your astronomical rise that you felt you could be the supremo of Ghana Football?
Nyantakyi: Never ever, even in 2005 when Dr Nyaho Tamakloe left, I never bored any hopes of being the FA president. At that point the position was by appointment and I have always been docile when it comes to politics. You needed the endorsement of Government and I have had never looked forward to becoming the over-all boss it just happened.
Ghanasoccernet and Citi FM’s Rahman Osman with Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi during an interview
R.O: You were Vice Chairman of GHALCA sometime ago and clubs were vibrant those days you even organized the top four competition which was a hit why has GHALCA all of a sudden gone cold?
Nyantakyi: Well I am not the best person to answer this question I think the current executives would be the best to answer this. I was there from 2001 to 2004 we did the top four 2002, 2003 and 2004 it was a glamorous event the football fans looked forward to it but unfortunately things have changed now. I am sure the current GHALCA executives would be the best to explain why things have changed now.
R.O: During your time with GHALCA a team was sent to South Africa to study the PSL, I am told organizers of the PSL are autonomous, will the PLB ever go autonomous?
Nyantakyi: Well when you say study it means to acquaint yourself with the system and how an institution is built. We did go to South Africa and I can confirm I was part of the delegation which went and we came back with some learning points but it also didn’t mean we were going to implement all that we had learnt. We will not make the PLB autonomous because South Africans have made their autonomous no. who told you that even with the South African they are still comfortable with the state of their league. Each system has its strength and weakness so you have to do an appraisal before you can decide to make such decision not just because someone is going that way so we should also go that way.
R.O: Some sections of the media are of the view that our league is on the decline. Do you share that same view if yes what is the FA doing to arrest the situation?
Nyantakyi: I share a different view I do not think the league has declined no and I can explain. Let’s look at the league from 2005 to 2015. When we started the sponsorship of the league we had two hundred and fifty thousand Ghana (250000) cedis, in 2007 the money was reviewed to three hundred and fifty thousand cedis and in 2008 came GLO we injected three million cedis into the league. We introduced a lot including two windows for the registration of players, we made it mandatory that all league clubs have registered offices. My view is that you do not compare the Ghana league to the British league if you cannot compare the Ghana economy to the British economy.
I am not saying we are there yet but I am saying we are working hard to be the best.
The argument people make is the quality of football but for me it’s a bit psychological we didn’t have the English, the British and other leagues those days. Now a days we do all the comparison to the past we did not have in the past.
R.O: when is the First Capital Plus premier league getting a highlight show?
Nyantakyi: It’s a component of a marketing plan and it has to be looked at very soon. The English Premier league and the Ghana premier league started at almost the same time but the development are so vast. But the sponsors are looking forward to making the highlights show.
Ghana FA Preisdent Kwesi Nyantakyi during Ghana’s chaotic world cup campaign
R.O: The Black Stars have been successful in your reign, these days they qualify for tournaments and do well .What has been the secret?
Nyantakyi: It is professionalism, we give equal attention to all level of football but for me the media and the fans even focus too much on the Black Stars than us.I have been at Prampram to see the women’s game. I did not see a media man there but if the Black Stars are going for an excursion in Prampram you will see the number of media men there.
R.O: Will the Black Stars ever return to Kumasi?
Nyantakyi: Yes I can assure you that the home of the Black Stars is Ghana, so we will make a decision where the Black Stars plays given the circumstances.
R.0: There are rumors there will be a shake-up in the technical department of the Black Stars can you confirm or deny this?
Nyantakyi: I do not know and as far as I am concerned the coach has not asked for any shake-ups. Some people seems to have all information about the team than from us in the inside I do not know.
R.O: Friendly games. Who will the Black Stars be playing later this month?
Nyantakyi: We never agreed to play Nigeria we were only looking at the feasibility of the game but after some research we realized it was not going to be possible. We are looking at some countries but I can assure you that Ghana will play later this month.
Kwesi Nyantakyi during his early days as FA President
R.O: The minister of Youth and Sports now owns a football club some have complained of conflict of interest what do you make of this?
Nyantakyi: What is conflict of interest? It arises when you place your personal interest above the interest of your public office. The football association is a company limited guarantee, it runs football in this country. The minister of Youth and Sports is not even part of the football association so if he decides to own a club except it interferes with the instruments of his appointment which I am sure there is no such thing for me there is really no problem with that. The minister is a Ghanaian and he is aware of the power of football so for me there is nothing wrong with that. What about in countries which some states own clubs what do you say about that? There is nothing wrong with that.
Ghana FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi during the Justice Senyo Dzamefeh commission of enquiry
Rahman: Mr. President thank you for your time
Nyantakyi: you are welcome my brother
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