Ghana's new sports minister Ayariga off to disastrous start, football forum condemned
Ghana’s new sports minister Mahama Ayariga got off to a worst possible start in his post as his two-day seminar on football was widely condemned on Sunday as ‘a complete waste of time and money’, besmirched with political undertones.
Sports analysts in the country descended heavily on the ex-government spokesman for the decision to call the two-day forum to discuss the future of Ghana football.
Ayayriga, who took over the position on Wednesday, called the conference which ended on Saturday in his bid to find solutions in the wake of Ghana’s disastrous showing at the World Cup.
However the decision to call several ex-administrators numbering about 60 to discuss how to fix emerging problems plaguing the country’s football has not gone down well.
The conference suffered a PR setback at the opening when two leading members of the ruling NDC party Harry Zakkour and Ade Coker were heard in discussions calling for the dismissal of the Kwesi Nyantakyi, which led to suspicion that the conference was politically motivated to remove the Ghana FA boss.
The conference was condemned as ill-timed and hurried with some of the people invited described as lacking the substance and knowledge to steer the direction of the game in the country.
Some said the minister got his priorities wrong as he should instead concentrate on reviving the lesser known sports in the country with suspicion that he is being pushed around by those some unknown hands.
A key recommendation by the forum was the need to modify the football constitution to limit the terms of the president of Ghana FA to two-terms, which has been condemned.
“If the recommendation has to do with the term of office of the Ghana Football Association President, then I think we are missing the point. The real issue has to do with developing our football at the grassroots level,” Christopher Opoku an analyst told Joy FM.
Worlanyo Wallas, a presenter of Asempa FM, questioned the integrity of some of the participants claiming they were indicted by government for their past deeds and lack the moral authority to sit in such conferences.
Alhaji Jawula, Sam Brew Butler and Ade Coker, all previous leaders of the Ghana, failed to qualify the Black Stard for the World Cup during their reign but were called to advice and the decision has not been well received.
“The minister should have received the advice that some of the men he invited have no got the moral right to sit there. A lot of them were sacked from football administration in this country for their bad deeds and corrupt practices,” Wallas fumed on the his programme on Sunday.
“Is this an attempt to recycle them and bring back the failure they brought to this country? This new minister has failed before he started. Football is hotter than politics. If he doesn’t take care he will be removed from his position in no time.
“Some of these people have been out of the game for more than 20 years. What solutions can they offer?”
Another analyst Kweku Owusu Bempah said the personalities called are out of touch and can’t offer any solutions to the problems affecting the game in Ghana as they could mould the game in the country during their time.
“All of the ex-FA presidents called for the conference could not qualify Ghana for the World Cup. Some even failed to take the country to the Africa Cup of Nations. Now we are calling them to advice us on how to play at the World Cup. How pathetic. ” Bempah said on Happy FM sarcastically.
“The politics attached to this conference has damaged the purity, if any, of the event.
“Nyantakyi might not be an angle but to have taken Ghana to three World Cup and all Africa Cup of Nations in his reign, they must be learning from him.”
Ben Nunoo Mensah, the president of the Ghana Weightlifting Association, phoned into a radio programme to advice the minister to give equal attention to all sports.
“I share in the sentiments that the minister’s foray into football at this early stage is counter-productive. He should take his time and concentrate on the other sports because football is Ghana is far developed as compared to the other sports.” Mensah told Asempa FM.
The recommendation by the two-day seminar is not binding on the Ghana FA as its congress can accept or rubbish the proposal.
What do you think must be done to solve Ghana’s football problems? Can Ayariga succeed at the sports ministry? Make your views known in the box below: