Sports News of Monday, 13 July 2015
The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) has dealt a further damaging blow to the credibility of the Dzamefe Commission’s report by revealing that its country’s government did not fund the friendly against Ghana thus rubbishing the claims of the West African nation’s 2014 World Cup investigative body, GHANAsoccernet.com can reveal.
The revelation by the KNVB leaves the integrity of the Dzamefe Commission in tatters after the body charged with investigating Ghana’s disastrous World Cup campaign emphatically ruled that the Dutch government funded the friendly against the Black Stars before the tournament in Brazil.
This is the latest of the many blunders spotted in the Dzamefe Commission which has left several pundits to conclude that the commission was set up to persecute the GFA and its top officials while covering up the role of government and its officials in the country disastrous showing in the tournament in Brazil last year.
The ruling on the friendly match by the Justice Senyo Dzamefe-led body implied that the Ghana Football Association (GFA) dealt in corrupt practices claiming the match was double funded even though the investigative provided no evidence to back their claims that the match was paid for by the Dutch government.
However, the KNVB has rejected the report by the Dzamefe Commission insisting its government did not fund the friendly against the Black Stars before the World Cup in Brazil.
“On behalf of our President and General Secretary I would like to inform you that the Dutch government did not finance the match Holland V Ghana on the 31st of May,” Bianca Bos, the assistant to the President and the General Secretary of the KNVB said in a statement.
Even though it is known globally that western governments do not fund their national teams thanks to the massive wealth on their local federations, the Dzamefe Commission went ahead to rule that the friendly on 31 May, 2014 was funded by the Dutch government.
The investigative body ruled without providing a shred of evidence to back their claims, adding to the already sinking image of the commission which has been widely condemned as politically motivated.
The findings of the commission looked to have overly concentrated on the GFA while the key issues that affected the country which seems to point at government’s direction were largely ignored by the findings of the probe.
Ghana’s disgrace at the World Cup was highlighted by government’s failure to pay the players after several failed promises which led to the revolt by the Black Stars; the flying of the money to Brazil caused further embarrassment as it was carried on live television, and the treatment of supporters also added to the shame.
Yet the commission’s report which was to look into the 2014 World Cup, seemed to focus on the GFA and its president- Kwesi Nyantakyi- who is now facing a forensic audit of friendly matches ten years before the tournament in Brazil, while ignoring the key issues that led to the country’s disastrous outing which points at government’s failings.
Shockingly, the forensic audit will look into claims of losses totaling $1,002,000 during the matches involving Ghana and Cape Verde, Ghana and Nigeria, and Ghana and Togo, even though these matches do not relate to the 2014 World Cup, as some of the matches were played way back in 2006.
The report also asked for Nyantakyi to be investigated over the $200,000 for a friendly before the World Cup, even though the money was not paid to him personally, but was paid to the GFA and failed to provide the reason why he should be held personally responsible.
This view is consistent with long-held fears from the GFA that the Commission’s work was expected to provide the launch pad for a major attack on the GFA boss with the aim of removing him from office as several people close to government and the presidency are keen on the position.
The GFA has fought off several attempts by the ruling NDC government to change the leadership of the federation since it came to power in 2009 through the law courts. In 2010 a government-backed body was slapped with $20,000 fine by the courts for attempting to invade the federation.
These revelations and suspicion of witch-hunt of the GFA while government officials being shielded in the report is what has sparked members of the opposition to react, claiming government is engaged in cover-ups.
The Dzamefe Commission was set up by President Mahama in 2014 to look into the circumstances surrounding Ghana’s chaotic appearance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
After the submission of their report, government issued a white paper which has also been widely condemned.