GFA needs a Watch Dog

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 Source: Frank Amponsah

Once again the dust has settled in terms of AFCON 2013, and the whirlwinds tranquilled on the national footballing terrain. But an urging desire that needs satisfying the most, is a positive step forward in rebuilding a contestable and tournament winnable national team.

The history of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) since its inception has chalked both successes and failures under various competent chairmen, and their governing executives in the nation's football. In fact the qualification of the national team on two successive occasions to the 2006 and 2010 world cups, has elevated the GFA's status, such that it has become a potent force in the administration of our national game. In some quarters it is argued that it stands toe-to-toe with certain arms of government (e.g. the judiciary) in view of its independence, and the fact that external audits or interferance for its own good is not favourably welcomed.

There is therefore an urgent and pressing need of having an influential, formidable and capable watchful guardian, which will keep a careful eye on the GFA's activities both internally and externally for the nation's good. As a football loving nation, if the fans and supporters of football are on a daily basis sidelined on the day-to-day activities of the GFA and its major decisions, then the body (GFA) will always have its way in determining what it transmits to taxpayers.

With the right to information bill still stuck in parliament pending its eventual “acceptance and activation”, I propose that diverse supporters unions of the game as well as football loving fans across the nation and interested stakeholders, come up with a national network that will spearhead the formation of this watch dog. This watchful guardian should be one that all Ghanaians, especially football fans and interest stakeholders irrespective of our colour, code or creed suscribe to, with an amiable objective of keeping the GFA on its toes in terms of the following purview:

1. An extensive revamp of the GFA's website. As one of it mains sources of informing the public, the GFA's website ought to be a hub of information for curious and concern minds about its constitution, articles and charters, presidency, executives, committees and their members, policies, external collaborations, associations it oversees etc. But sadly, the status quo is very uninsightful and despairing. As a matter of fact a delibrate tour to the website will shock one to the bone. Dissemination of superficial and generic information is easily attained but in regards to substantive information of the GFA and the nation's football, there is nothing to none.

2. A non-cabalocratic institution. Football loving Ghanaians and various interested stakeholders will like to see and deal with an administrative body that is not seen to be run by a so called cabal, a small group of people who plot and schemes the national football affairs in their own theartrical circles, while keeping the interested public at bay.

3. Regular updates or press releases on football ongoings. It is now high time that the GFA through its various information networks vis-a-vis website, press office and public relations officer(s) informed the nation's football fans as well as interested stakeholders on the regular happenings in our national game.

4. Transparent publication of budgetary and financial information. The average concern Ghanaian taxpayer and stakeholder must be informed about how much of the national 'cake' is disbursed to the GFA from the ministry of youth and sports, and the subsequent financial undertakings of the GFA in terms of its budget either quarterly or annually.

5. Clarity and Transparency in the GFA's Vademecum (Constitution). In the interest of enhancing our national football, the GFA must be probed for its consitution. If it has, then the Vademecum of the Football Association must be clearly published for football fans, interested stakeholders and taxpayers on various of its media, especially on its website, where it can be easily accessed. Else if it has none, then Ghanaians would advocate for necessary parties to draft one for the interest of our national game. Through this Hand Book (Constitution), Ghanaians will be able to ascertain when and how the GFA's executives including the president are determined, the duration of their mandates, who they are accountable to, the extent of their responsibilities, procedures for appointing coaches for the national team, its main source(s) of funding and other relevant administrative and related articles that will foster the growth and strength of our national game and team(s).

So to sum it up, a watch dog created through a national framework of various supporters unions, football fans and interested stakeholders will go a very long way to help enhance the GFA and eventually effect our national game and team(s) for the better. Hence, the onus is on all of us (Ghanaians) to commence a good ground work for this watch dog to take its full course or else the vicious cycle in the GFA and the way it runs our national game will continue without a halt. And this will be a gargantuan disservice to our football.

Frank Amponsah frank.amponsah@hotmail.co.uk

Source: Frank Amponsah