The Ghana Football Association vice President had good intentions of amicably settling the fracas that had ensued between the Ghana FA and then Minister of Youth and Sports Nii Lante Vanderpuye.
But, things took an ugly turn when a journalist, working with Ghana Soccernet – name withheld, telephoned Ibrahim Sannie Daara – the GFA’s head of communications, to twist the veep’s words and the former BBC Africa Sports broadcaster refused to confirm the details from George Afriyie but went ahead to report the details as he was told by his worker.
It was June 2016 and the fracas between the Ghanaian football governing body and the sports ministry under Nii Lante Vanderpuye was heightening. The stalemate was affecting the GFA and had obviously unsettled them.
“If you look at it that was the beginning of everything. He [George Afriyie] good intentions but how the whole thing turned about was bad,” a GFA insider said.
The Vice President of the association George Afriyie was not too enthused about the turn of events and wanted an amicable end to the war between the parties. Together with another official of the FA mentioned to be Isaac Addo, the two held a fruitful meeting with the minister at his office on how they can work together amicably.
During the discussion the outspoken Minister outlined his concerns and mentioned the ‘mercenary’ Ghana Soccernet journalist as one of the personalities employed by the GFA to attack him through his Ghana Soccernet features and articles.
After the meeting the GFA vice President telephoned the journalist and relayed the concerns of the minister to him and requested he puts his vituperative articles and attacks on hold while he attempts resolve the constant contretemps between the minister and the FA.
But a single phone call from the journalist to his employer Ibrahim Sannie Daara changed the entire mood and relationship between Kwesi Nyantakyi and his vice.
As established, the journalist did not say exactly what George Afriyie told him but rather said he has been asked to put an entire end to write his defensive features and firing missiles at the Sports Minister which got the President instantly angry.
Sannie failed to call George Afriyie to find out whether his employee told him the truth or twisted the words of the Vice President but he instead called Kwesi Nyantakyi and immediately snitched the lies to him.
The President got angry and started acting cold towards his Vice and didn’t ask for his side of the story until a couple of months later during one of the meetings at the GFA.
When the issue was brought up by the President, George Afriyie narrated his side and the journalist was called on phone and put on speaker and quizzed on what he was told by the Vice President. He admitted lying before Sannie Daara who reported a lie to the FA President.
After the incident, the relationship at the top brass of the GFA has been frosty with lack of trust and snitching on the Vice President.
The reported SMS sent to the President from his Vice is just the latest and it happened as a result of the constant vilification of the Vice and being the victim of backbiting and the Machiavellian power play at the tip of the GFA hierarchy.
NOTE: George Afriyie declined to comment on our investigations whilst Ibrahim Saanie Daara and the GFA President were not reachable.