Ghana's World Cup commission dares FIFA - 'We will carry out probe'
Ghana’s Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Black Stars shambolic World Cup campaign has snubbed FIFA by insisting it will carry out the probe despite a warning from the world governing body.
The government-mooted probe insist FIFA cannot intimidate the commission from stopping its work citing the sovereign independence of Ghana.
A member of the commission, Moses Foh-Amoaning, rubbished the world governing body’s threats that the terms of reference of the commission violates FIFA’s statutes insisting the Switzerland-based body cannot stop the three-man body from investigating the Ghana FA.
Foh-Amoaning’s sharp reaction to FIFA came in the wake of threats by the world’s football governing body to apply appropriate sanctions against the move.
FIFA has warned that a Commission to investigate the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and delve into issues bothering on the competence and administration of football in the country is inappropriate.
This, it said, could lead to sanctions if the government goes ahead with the Commission’s terms of reference.
But Foh-Amoaning, a legal practitioner, hit back at FIFA saying: “As a sovereign nation, the Ghana Government has the right to probe the Stars’ campaign in Brazil since it is of public interest.”
“Under no circumstance would we be intimidated by anybody or power and would cross the bridge when we get there,” he said.
In a letter dated August 7 and signed by Deputy General Secretary of FIFA, Markus Kattner, the body warned the country to stay clear of interfering in the affairs of the GFA and to respect the autonomy of the FA or risk sanctions.
Mr Foh-Amoaning said all football-related activities could be subjected to probe when necessary, citing how the Swizz Police once raided the office of the FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, unannounced in order to gain access to some vital documents in a matter which was under investigation.
“My brothers, tell me of what became of that action by the police. Was Switzerland sanctioned because of that investigation by the police?” he quizzed.
The Commission, which starts sitting on August 11 and working within a two-week period, has been tasked to look into the principles and policies that underpin systems and structures employed by the FA in running Ghana football.
They are mandated, amongst others, to look into events as pertained to preparations, exit, treatment of fans, remuneration of players and officials.
It is expected, therefore, to give an overview and recommendations per their findings at the close of work.
The GNA Sports gathered that the decision of government to probe the Stars’ participation in the quadrennial championship forms part of efforts to nip in the bud mistakes committed by stakeholders to ensure successful future tournaments.
But critics of the government say it is an attempt to cover-up for government’s failing as it failed to provide the cash needed to pay the players in time which led to the rumpus in camp.
Other also suspect government of seeking to remove Ghana FA officials from office as some people with close links to government seeking to take advantage of the situation to topple the GFA’s leadership.
The Stars’ participation in the 2014 World Cup fiesta was beset with a lot of challenges, ranging from players’ refusal to train ahead of the Ghana-Portugal clash, an alleged assault by one of the players, sheer disrespect for the technical team which was mostly caused by the government failure to pay the players at the time it promised.
The maltreatment of fans and some ambassadors who accompanied the team, bad flight arrangements for the fans to remuneration are things there were directly caused by the sports ministry.
These factors, according to some football analysts and fans, could be the reason for the Stars’ early exit in the tournament, a development that gave public concern and subsequent institution of an inquiry into the issues for the benefit of the nation.
Mr Foh-Amoaning said the Commission would work within the stipulated regulations to ensure a successful exercise.