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Sports Administration in Ghana

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general sports
General sports

…The Missing Link Viz a Viz the missing Link between Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Authority and the Ghana Football Association

The National Sports Council, now Authority was established by an Act, SMC Decree 54 of 1976, LI 1088 with the sole aim of developing, promoting and Organising Sporting activities across the Country. This Act was ratified by Act 934 of 2016 with the same purpose except to Grant all Sports Association independent of political interference as it was enshrined in the SMC Decree 54 of 1976.

But the question is that has the National Sports Authority been able to achieve these objectives and mandate Viz a Viz the role of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Authority and the GFA in ensuring that Sports is put on higher pedestal to meet the hope and aspirations of Ghanaians.

The main challenges of stakeholders mentioned above has to do with the inability of the 3 axis to define their role in the execution of these Sports Acts. The confusing demand is the inferiority complex between these 3 axis mandated by law to administer sports in Ghana.

JUSTIFICATION
Under these Sports Acts 1976 and 2016, The Ministry of Youth and Sports responsibility is formulate policies and programs for Sports development, promotion and Organisation of Sports by means of political will in line with the Acts that governs sports. The responsibility of the National Sports Authority is to implement these policies in line with the these sports acts mentioned above. By invention and by convention all sports Associations including the GFA are to be supervised by the National Sports Authority as implementation agency mandated by law and not the MOYS.

In the light of the above, all activities of Sports Association are subject to approval by The NSA meaning, everything that has public interest concerning sports are to be rooted through NSA, the technical agency for Sports to be forwarded to the MOYS including budgets for sporting activities for perusal. These structures that is the relationship between MOYS, NSA and GFA are meant to ensure checks and balances to meet public interest. But over the years, the mandate of the NSA has been taken over by the MOYS giving room for the GFA to deal directly with MOYS thereby relegating the Sports Authority to the background. So, everything about football goes straight to the Ministry without any input from the NSA. This development has weakened and rendered the NSA which is the technocrat arm of sports redundant. This is the reason why the GFA have had it’s way and one of the reasons for how low our football have sunk. The GFA have succeeded in manipulating the MOYS to their advantage because there’s no input from NSA. This development has weakened the capacity of the NSA in achieving its mandate.

POSSIBLE REMEDIES

To avert these challenges, the GFA like any other Sports Association should be made to adhere to the Sports Acts of 1976 and 2016 by rooting its activities through the NSA before it gets to the MOYS. This will ensure checks and balances.

But does the NSA has the capacity to deal with the GFA?.
To some extent NO and to other extent YES. No because the NSA has been reduced to a laughing stock because about 90% monies heremarke for sports development goes to the GFA to the extent that the NSA cannot even manage stadia facilities under its jurisdiction. YES because if the NSA is well resourced with requisite human resource capacity and subvention from government it could be able to manage all sporting activities to meet the hopes and aspirations of Ghanaians.

2. THE GFA and Football development.

FIFA frowns on political interference in the administration of football likewise the IOC on other sporting activities. So, if government have interest in the development of our football it must first ensure that it brings the NSA into the spot light and not the Ministry as it was done in the past where the NSA supervises the GFA. When this happens, the NSA could be tasked by government under the sports acts to develop a blue print and road map that will address the ailing and falling standards of our football taking into consideration the development of Juvenile football. that’s where government can have an input in respect to developing various national teams.

3. Because FIFA and IOC frowns on political and government interference in the promotion and development of football, FIFA gave room for government of member States to contribute their quota in the administration of football through Public Interest Committees of various football Associations where government can ensure checks and balances of the activities of the GFA and where government nominates persons to that committee to protect government interest in the activities of the GFA in the interest of the public. This Committee warranted by FIFA has been relegated to the background and the Ministry which has always been in bed with with the GFA because of financial favours have taken over the responsibility of the PIC. So, because of collusion between the MOYS and GFA, there’s no checks and balances and the GFA have always had its way. This is one reason why our football is declining because of lack of checks and balances. To curtail this, the government must empower the NSA to execute its mandate. By so doing the NSA could protect government interest as well as public purse because there’s been frivolous expenditure on football activities especially the Black Stars.

4. In the past, all Licenced coaches were staff of the National Sports Authority. The likes of Coach Afranie, Osam Duodoo, CK, Gyamfi, Oti Akenten, and many more. So they were paid by the sports Council and so they were involved in juvenile football development and that’s why our juvenile national teams were at their peak in the 90s. These coaches were made to undertake capacity building courses through government scholarships at universities in Europe and South America especially Brazil Scotland and Germany specifically Leipzig University. When they returned they were given juvenile national teams to handle through inter schools football completions and colts football. That’s how Abedi Pele, Tony Yeboah, CK Ackunnor, Shamo Quaye, Essien, Muntari etc were all identified through Colts football and inter School football competitions. So government must re-visit these these policies and programs and this will give our local leagues a strong foundation and that’s where we can build our national teams around local players as it was done in the past. But for now it will be suicidal to say because the Black Stars have failed with foreign based players so we must build our national teams around local players where there’s no foundation and basis for that. It will mean putting square pegs in round hole.

In the light of the above Let’s visit the fundamentals and address the short falls spot on. Not until the relationship between MOYS, NSA and GFA is ratified and well defined where the GFA is directed by government through the MOYS to root all it’s programs of activities through the NSA there will be no solution to address the challenges confronting the development of football and other sporting disciplines. The Missing Link is the NSA whose responsibility is to protect the interest of government in the development of sports including football.

By Michael Richmond Smart-Abbey, PhD, Former Principal Administrative Officer and Management Member, NSA (2007–2018).

Contact 0504272091

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