Sports News Mon, 25 Jun 2018
Word has gone to the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo to quickly change its approach in dealing with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) since that will likely lead to a ban by the World's football governing body, FIFA.The Government has therefore been asked to take seriously and implement the proposals suggested by football interest people including the former Vice Chancellor of UPSA and former GFA Executive Member, Professor Joshua Alabi.
The approach proffered by Prof Alabi in a Press Statement released two weeks ago, included a meeting of government representatives and Ghana League Club Association (GHALCA) Executives to discuss necessary changes that need to be made in Ghana football and proceed thereof. The changes are expected to lead to an emergency Congress where GHALCA will adopt the reforms and then get same approved at an Emergency Congress of the GFA.
Prof Alabi's suggestions which were not heeded to, saw the government announcing the dissolution of the corporate GFA and securing a court injunction to render GFA as well as its officers powerless.
Proceeding dangerously, government on the same day announced a five-member interim committee to manage the Football Association, whilst getting the Ghana Police Service to cordon off the offices of the GFA, describing the GFA Secretariat as a crime zone.
These draconian measures have finally resulted in GHALCA forcing its Chairman, Mr Cudjoe Fianoo, to resign from the five-member government committee and in the same week, FIFA officials visiting the country to apprise themselves of the situation. Emboldened by this, a defiant GFA has gone to court to challenge the petition of the government to ban the association.
This is what many pundits believe is the beginning of a long process where FIFA will ban the country resulting in an unnecessary and costly battle by the country in order to regain admission into FIFA.
A number of football enthusiasts seeking to have the situation quickly resolved to allow the football industry to function in a more credible structure have thus referred to the Prof Alabi statement as the blueprint needed to enable the country do the necessary changes and improve football administration whilst remaining as a FIFA member.
Taking to Facebook, some supporters of the Professor condemned the government for risking a FIFA ban, instead of listening to the free advice provided by the NDC Presidential hopeful, in a bid to clean Ghana football.
A columnist and supporter of the former Vice-Chancellor, Mr Benjamin Essuman particularly faulted the Akufo-Addo government for endangering the incomes of those who live on the football industry.
In a post, He said: AKUFO-ADDO SHOULD'VE LISTENED TO PROF JOSHUA ALABI WHEN HE WROTE IN THAT PRESS STATEMENT:
"An independent body must be formed to meet with the leadership of GHALCA to fashion out some proposals for discussion and adoption at Congress."
Listing some of the amendments proposed by the Professor but which have not been adhered to by the government, He wrote:
THE PROFESSOR WENT ON FURTHER TO MENTION SOME OF THE PROPOSALS: "Congress of the GFA which is a meeting of all stakeholders must admit to shortcomings inherent in the current constitution, and table proposals to correct them.
"A new constitution which encourages checks and balances, gives autonomy to the Premier League Board (PLB), fast tracks resolution of disputes within hours, and protects our continental or international representatives is the way to go."
Besides Prof Joshua Alabi, another football interest person, Mr Randy Abbey on Saturday chided the Akufo-Addo government for having made wrong moves in dealing with the matter of the GFA.
Featuring on Joy FM's flagship program, the NewsFile, Randy Abbey also called on the government to engage GHALCA, who are the "football people" with proposals on the how football should be managed in the country. He was also convinced that it is GHALCA that is the life wire of the GFA and without their active involvement, the country risks being banned by FIFA.
Randy Abbey who is a former Hearts of Oak representative to GHALCA and currently a Club owner debunked government's claim that FIFA does not currently recognise GFA, but government of Ghana. Mr Abbey could not understand why government will have the notion that a federation of football associations in the world will all a sudden jettison it's member and embrace a political regime as a new member.
He was unhappy that government appears not to be listening to wise counsel proffered by people who desire to see the growth of football.
Professor Joshua Alabi whose recommendations gave a clear path for Ghana to resolve the challenges confronting football administration in the country, is a former Team Manager of the Ghana Black Stars, former Executive Member of the GFA, former General Secretary of GHALCA and former Head of Administration of Accra Great Olympics FC.