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World Sports Advocate
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Volume: 16 Issue: 9
(September 2018)

crisis hits ghanaian football moving forward activities fifas normalisation committee football most popular sport ghana boasts one most highly rated

Kenya Argentina Greece Thailand

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Crisis hits Ghanaian football: moving forward and the activities of FIFA’s normalisation committee

Football is the most popular sport in Ghana and boasts one of the most highly rated national teams in Africa. However, the nation’s favourite sport has recently been plunged into chaos as a result of an undercover investigation that infiltrated the Ghana Football Association (‘GFA’), exposing both referees and executives that eventually saw FIFA intervening. The investigation was carried out by journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his team of reporters, and was released following years of speculation that corruption was rife in Ghanaian football. Anas set-up meetings with a number of individuals involved in Ghanaian football, including referees and executives. The footage was provided to BBC Africa Eye who thereafter exposed the scandal in a feature length documentary1. The footage appears to show a number of referees accepting cash payments before games in both domestic and international fixtures, including the Confederation of African Football (‘CAF’) Champions League. Over 150 separate payments are reported to have been received from undercover reporters, with the involvement of over 100 officials and their bosses. As if that was not enough to spark a public outcry, the investigation also targeted an international referee, from Kenya, who was due to officiate in the 2018 World Cup, as well as the President of the GFA, Kwesi Nyantakyi, who was caught on camera accepting a cash gift of $65,000, from undercover reporters, in relation to what he considered was a potential sponsorship deal. Nyantakyi had been at the reigns of Ghanaian football for 13 years. Laura McCallum, Counsel at Lombardi Associates, dissects the fallout of the investigation, and discusses the GFA and FIFA’s efforts to move forward with restoring integrity and stability to Ghanaian football.

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