Sports News of Friday, 28 July 2017
Ghana Football Association (GFA) president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, has given a firm assurance that both his roles at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and football’s world governing body FIFA are safe following the adoption of proposed reforms at the continental body which seeks to prevent members from putting themselves up for elections for the two seats at the same time.
Last week, CAF voted to expand its Executive Committee membership from 15 to 23, regularising the membership of those who serve on the FIFA Council to now have active rights at CAF.
In regularising the membership of those who serve on the FIFA Council, the new regulations would ensure that members could no longer hold dual roles simultaneously at CAF and FIFA, sparking concerns that Nyantakyi, the CAF First Vice President and a FIFA Council member, could lose one of his positions.
However, he has assured the Graphic Sports that both seats were safe but the modality of getting to serve on either bodies had been modified in order to widen CAF’s scope of decision-making and a greater participation of Member Associations, unlike in the past where the ExCo was considered “the right of a privilege few.”
“In very simple terms, the reform says, ‘if you want to serve on CAF ExCo, you just campaign and you are elected for that’. If it is the FIFA Council member one wants, he goes straight for it and either way, his or her CAF ExCo membership is preserved. One need not campaign for two elections as it happened in the recently held polls,” Nyantakyi explained yesterday.
“The reforms do not deny or rob anyone of a role. It simply says, once one is voted to become a FIFA Council member, he or she automatically, becomes a CAF ExCo member, so there is no need for one to campaign to be ExCo member first, then a FIFA Council member.
“Whether one gets to serve at CAF or FIFA, he will enjoy the same rights as a CAF ExCo member and be entitled to the same opportunities, unlike in the past where FIFA ExCo members at CAF were honorary members who had no voting rights and could not be nominated for vice presidency roles and who were referred to as having non-cumulative mandate.
“Per the reform, it will be for one to decide whether he wants to just serve at CAF or be a FIFA Council member, and either way he or she serves on the CAF ExCo once the elections go their way.
“So if people are worried about my position per this reform, let me just clear the air and assure them: My roles at both CAF and FIFA are safe. In any case, the reforms do not take retrospect effect. It comes into force from the next elections,” Nyantakyi who incidentally heads the CAF Statutes Committee and one of five members who currently hold dual roles at both CAF and FIFA, explained.
The other members who hold positions at both CAF and FIFA are Constant Omari (DR Congo), Abo Rida Hany (Egypt), Almamy Kabele Camara (Guinea) and Tarek Bouchamaoui (Tunisia).
Lydia Nsekera of Burundi is the only non-ExCo member who serves on the FIFA Council and per the reform, has now been made a full ExCo member.