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Sports News Thu, 9 Dec 2010

Minority calls on Govt not to meddle in GFA affairs

Accra, Dec. 9, GNA - The Minority in parliament on Thursday called on government and its agents to desist from unduly meddling in the affairs of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and destabilizing Ghana sports generally.

Mr Asiamah Isaac Kwame, Member of Parliament (MP) for Atwima-Mponua, addressing a press conference on Thursday, said the minority would use all legal means to protect the hard won reputation Ghana sports had gained in the past years through the diligence and hard work of patriotic Ghanaians. The conference was in reaction to the confiscation of computers, files, mobile phones and other documents of the GFA on December 7, 2010 by the Economic and Organised Crime Office.

Mr Asiamah described the act as part of attempts to intimidate and interfere in the affairs of the GFA.

He said under the Economic and Organised Crime Act, Act 804 of 2010, the objective of EOCO was to prevent and detect organized crime and generally to facilitate the confiscation of the proceeds of criminal activity.

Mr Asiamah said the Minority had heard the Executive Director of EOCO on several networks rationalizing the invasion of the premises of the GFA and the ransacking of their offices based on Act 804 enacted on September 6, 2010.

He said the Director had not stated that his office was investigating financial or economic loss to the Republic or any state entity or Institution in which the state had financial interest.

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"They are not investigating money laundering, human trafficking, prohibited cyber activity, tax fraud or serious offence, which the Act defines to include terrorism, trafficking in narcotic drugs, illicit arms, smuggling, murder, armed robbery, corruption, extortion and forgery," he said.

Mr Asiamah noted that regrettably the EOCO as successor to the Serious Fraud Office, appeared to use its office to harass and intimidate the GFA following the initial failed attempt by the then SFO to investigate the GFA in the same fashion of investigating and freezing the assets of the Ghana Olympic Committee.

"It is unfortunate that the EOCO was not learning any lessons from its encounter with the GOC in the law courts, leading to the definite pronouncement that the office was not created to meddle in the affairs of private organizations and to go on a wild goose chase," he added He said the actions of EOCO were irresponsible and reckless, coming after the warning from FIFA and IOC about government interference in sports and following the government's directive to the GFA to pay all world Cup proceeds into government accounts.

Mr Asiamah said it was obvious that the actions of government agencies like EOCO had given Ghana Sports a very bad image, brought the name of Ghana into disrepute, embarrassed all sports loving compatriots and destabilized sports in the country.

"The very reputable image Ghana has earned is rapidly fading due to the intransigent and bellicose attitude of certain persons purporting to act in the name of government but not courageous enough to own up for their irresponsibility and damage to Ghana Sports," he said.

Source: GNA
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