Embattled former President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi has backtracked on claims he made to some ‘investors’ in segments of a video recording by world-acclaimed undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas in which Nyantakyi demanded kickbacks to pass on to top government officials, including the presidency.
In the video, Nyantakyi alleged that the Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, Anthony Karbo, told him that President Akufo-Addo would get $5 million; Dr Bawumia – $3 million; Road and Highways Minister Amoako Atta – $2 million; Anthony Karbo – $1 million; and Nyantakyi – $1 million.
The businessmen, as their appreciation to Nyantakyi for showing up, placed in front of him $65,000 and handed him a black rubber bag to pack the money into it himself.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has called for criminal investigations against Nyantakyi for falsely using his name to defraud investors.
In his resignation letter, Nyantakyi, a member of FIFA’s decision-making council and Vice-President of Confederation of African Football (CAF), said: “I wish to clarify that at no time prior to or subsequent to any deliberations on the video did I consult, contact or inform any government official about discussions on the video. I take sole and personal responsibility for the proceedings on the video.
“I gravely associated the highest office of the land – the presidency – with private discussions I had with ‘scammers” who deceived me into thinking they were genuine persons interested in investing in our country.
“I hereby apologise unreservedly to the father of the nation, Nana Akufo-Addo, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State for indiscretion in associating them with the private conversations on the video,” he stated.
Nyantakyi resigned two days after a documentary by ace journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas brought to light several cases of ethical breaches in Ghana football.
Nyantakyi made this decision after a meeting of the Executive Committee of the association on Friday.
“After a meeting of the Executive Committee this afternoon, I decided to resign as President of the Ghana Football Association.
“It stemmed out of the controversies generated by [an] investigative report of Tiger Eye PI. In the said report, I committed a series of errors of indiscretion.
“I wish to apologise to my family, work colleagues, friends, associates and the people of Ghana for the disappointment my indiscretion has caused them. This is by no means an admission of wrongdoing for issues on the video,” Nyantakyi said.
Nyantakyi, who has been GFA president since 2005, was elected to the FIFA Council in September 2016,
NRFA chairman resigns
Abdulai Alhassan, Chairman of the Northern Region Football Association (NRFA), has resigned from his position after the recently aired investigative documentary.
In a press release, Alhassan said, “My decision is as a result of deliberations I have had with my family and associates.
“I wish to state that my interest was to develop Ghana football, which led me to take the supposed investors to the GFA president.
“I hereby render an unqualified apology to my family, friends and the people who voted for [me] and the country at large,” he stated.
Alhassan also apologised to Nyantakyi for being the person who led him to the supposed investors, saying: “It is my prayer that Ghana football gets back on its feet soon.”
FIFA said on Friday it was suspending Nyantakyi for 90 days.
The government has begun a process to dissolve the GFA.
FIFA is against any third party, including government, interference in its member associations, but is yet to comment on whether any action will be taken over the government’s plan to dissolve the GFA.
GFA secretariat is a crime scene – Police
Meanwhile, the Ghana Police Service (GPS) has declared the premises of the GFA as inaccessible to the staff of GFA and the public until further notice.
A statement signed by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman said the directive follows investigations into the activities of the GFA and its officers following the ‘Number 12’ exposé by Tiger Eye PI, led by ace journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
It said the premises of the GFA is a crime scene and the police would provide a 24 -hour security to the place, and entreated the public to co-operate with investigators.
The statement urged persons with verifiable information to volunteer them through the financial forensic unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
FIFA cannot ban Ghana – Foh Amoaning
Moses Foh Amoaning, a lecturer at the Ghana School of Law, has said contrary to reports and fears, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) cannot ban Ghana from participating in football competitions in the future.
He said FIFA did not have the mandate by law to ban Ghana, as the power to manage and control the affairs of the country resided in the people and Ghana’s sovereignty as a country.
He said football was an aspect of many things done in Ghana, and that could not be controlled by any other authority, and asked: “Is FIFA not a registered company under Swizz law?
“FIFA is a football association; we can choose to join them or not. Football was first introduced in 1903, long before FIFA was formed. They can’t ban Ghana, under what law? Ghana as a country has sovereignty. The sovereignty resides in the people of this country, which they’ve entrusted to the government to run things,” he said.
He said so long as the football association was regulating football within the territory of Ghana, the government had the right to deal with it if it thought something had gone wrong.
Amoaning added that it was for the same reason why FIFA could not ban US after its law enforcers had stormed FIFA’s headquarters to arrest its officials for allegedly committing acts of corruption.
“Why is it that when America invaded and arrested their officials, they (FIFA) did not ban America?”
Ghana, who have played at three previous World Cups, missed out on this year’s tournament, which starts in Russia on June 14.