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Sports News Thu, 9 Dec 2010

Minority calls on government to desist from meddling Sports Administration

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 Sports Associations and destabilizing Ghana Sports.

Mr Asiamah Isaac Kwame, Member of Parliament for Atwima-Mponua who addressed a press conference said the Minority pledges to use all legal means to protect the hard won reputation Ghana Sports has gained in the past years through the diligence and hard work of all patriotic Ghanaians. The press conference was in reaction to the confiscation of computers, files mobile phones and other documents of the Ghana Football Association on Tuesday by officials of the Economic and Organised Crime Office. Mr Asiamah described the act by EOCO as attempts to intimidate and interfere in the duties and affairs of the GFA.

He said under the Economic and Organised Crime, Act 2010 Act 804, the objects of EOCO were to prevent and detect organized crime and generally to facilitate the confiscation of the proceeds of crimes. Mr Asiamah said "we have 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 which was enacted on 6th September 2010".

He said the Director had however not stated that his office was investigating financial or economic loss to the Republic or any state entity or institution in which the state has 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 and corruption, extortion, forgery".

Mr Asiamah noted that regrettably the EOCO as successor to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) appears 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.

He said 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. The MP said the actions of EOCO are irresponsible and reckless, coming after the warning from FIFA and IOC about government interference and following the government's directive to the GFA to submit a nominee to CAF and its nominations on a management board of nationals teams and the Public Interest Committee, the payment of all World Cup proceeds into government accounts.

Mr Asiamah said it is patently 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 Ghana Sports. "The very reputable image Ghana has earned was rapidly fading due to the intransigent and bellicose attitude of certain persons purporting to act in the name of government but not courageous enough not to own up to their irresponsibility and damage to Ghana Sports". 09 Dec. 10

Source: GNA
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