Only the Piper-Payer Can Call The Tune


Didn’t Buy, Didn’t Pay

August 10, 2014


The flat refusal of the members of the executive board of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to appear before a deviously cobbled Presidential Commission of Enquiry into the dismal performance of Ghana’s senior national soccer team, the Black Stars, at the 2014 World Cup Tournament in Brazil, is smack-dab in order.


We are reliably informed that Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) regulations governing the conduct of the individual national member organizations expressly prohibit government interference in the affairs of the GFA, especially since the operational budget of the GFA is not provided by the government of the day (See “Government Challenges GFA to Publish FIFA’s Letter” MyJoyOnline?8/10/14).


Obviously, the FIFA regulations are healthily aimed at drastically reducing the contingent politicization of the game to the barest minimum. We must also quickly point out that the decision to investigate any glitches that might have significantly contributed to the early exit of the Black Stars from the 2014 Brazil World Cup, was first motion-tabled in Ghana’s parliament by the shadow minister in charge of Sports, Youth and Culture of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).


For reasons best known to the Mahama government operatives, however, the ruling National Democratic Congress’ majority membership in the legislature decided to deviously finesse the House by having President Mahama issue an edict called Constitutional Instrument 82 (or CI-82), empowering the chief-executive-of-state to set up a Special Presidential Commission of Enquiry for the same purpose. In the process, what the Ghanaian leader succeeded in doing was to effectively defang and render the country’s National Assembly functionally incapacitated to carry out one of the most salient of its constitutional obligations.


This fraudulent act was, of course, mischievously orchestrated with the flagrant complicity of the Speaker of the country’s parliament, himself a former Member of Parliament on the ticket of the ruling National Democratic Congress. And now, we have just learned from the GFA executives that they have received a memorandum from FIFA headquarters admonishing the GFA executives that they are not obligated to appear before the Mahama Presidential Commission. And now, opportunely fed with a poisonous taste of his own brew, the newly appointed hatchet man of a Sports Minister, Mr. Mahama Ayariga, is daring the GFA officials to publicly disclose the contents of the FIFA memo.


Very likely, the GFA officials will not go down the gutter with Mr. Ayariga; and it is not clear whether Ghana’s president can force the GFA officials to do his bidding. What may happen, ultimately, are two-fold: either a stiffly checkmated President Mahama would shamefacedly scrap his kitchen commission of enquiry, thereby humbly and appropriately referring the matter back to Parliament, where it rightly belongs, or he may stubbornly choose to go ahead with his bogus commission, with the clear understanding of the absolute non-cooperation of the GFA.


If he decides to pursue the latter course, such move would clearly be tantamount to a flagrant waste of scarce taxpayer monetary resources. It is also rather comical for a smooth-operating rascal like Sports Minister Ayariga – the parliamentary double-dipper who finessed the House out of its primary constitutional obligation vis-a-vis Disaster Brazil – to so facilely presume to impugn the moral integrity and credibility of the GFA officials before the Ghanaian public, by pretending as it was the GFA, rather than Mr. Ayariga and President Mahama, who are out to pulling the proverbial wool over the eyes of a soccer-loving Ghanaian citizenry.


By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Garden City, New York


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