FA must use common sense, not law - Odotei
An aspiring chairman of the Ghana Football Association and Chief Executive Officer of King Faisal Football Club has waded into the ongoing rumpus between the Football Association and the state agencies imploring the FA to use a common sense approach in dealing with government.
Vincent Odotei said the seeming flexing of muscles, posture and utterances by some FA officials have been the reason for the stand-off between the FA and the Economic and Organised Crimes Unit (EOCO).
The Crimes Unit only last Tuesday raided the office of the FA with a court warrant acquired through an ex-parte motion and took away nine Computer System Units, files and other documents belonging to the FA.
The action provoked huge controversy with the Ghana League Club Association voting to suspend all leagues in the country, and FIFA issuing a deadline for government to stop interfering in football matters or risk being banned from the Federation.
Commenting on Joy FM’s news analysis programme News File on Saturday the King Faisal CEO said the FA must desist from hiding behind the monopoly of FIFA and build consensus with all stake holders, particularly government.
“We must look at our posture, our utterances and we must be guided by what even the Bible says by Jesus Christ that the laws were made for man and that man was not made for the laws.
“This sinister and overzealous clinging on to FIFA rules with laws…in the modern day they will tell you that you need to tamper those things with common sense and pragmatism.
He said leadership of the FA has not shown enough sincerity to government adding “no matter what we do; no matter how we try to invoke the laws of FIFA; no matter how we drum up our independence we are the relationship that we have to forge with the state is crucial.”
Spokes person of the FA Randy Abbey who was also on the show had earlier condemned the action by the EOCO.
He said the investigative body prior to the raid had written a letter to the FA on September 7, 2010 to asking the FA to provide details of documents surrounding the contract deal with Glo for the sponsorship of the premier league.
According to him the pinion of the legal experts of the FA was that based on the Act establishing the SFO they had no mandate to be requesting those documents.
This culminated in the decision of an FA official to, on his personal capacity, proceed to court to challenge the powers of the SFO to demand those documents.
He said, on 12 October 2010, the SFO now transformed into EOCO again wrote to the FA seeking it to furnish the EOCO with details of sponsorship sums for the 2010 World Cup and its disbursements, but the FA wrote requesting for some time to make those documents available.
He accused the EOCO of embarking on a wide fishing expedition especially when the two letters to the FA sought two unrelated documents.
He said the EOCO breached its own section 19 (1 A and B) of the Act which mandated the EOCO boss to ask the FA why and what is stopping it from providing the document before seeking to use an ex-parte motion to search and seize the documents.
He was shocked at the wide reaching power arrogated to the EOCO by the court which granted the ex-parte motion for the state institution (EOCO) to search and seize the offices of the FA as well residence and or personal offices of officials of the FA.
Mr. Abbey dismissed assertions that the FA had flouted tax laws saying the FA had submitted all it tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service for audit.