Government welcomes FIFA's letter to GFA on its Commission of Inquiry
Government says it has no problem with a letter from FIFA, requesting the GFA to provide clarity on the establishment of a commission to investigate Ghana’s poor show the just ended World Cup finals in Brazil.
According to Youth and Sports Minister, Mahama Ayariga, the letter is “perfectly legitimate”.
“It’s perfectly legitimate for FIFA to write to the local FA to request for information…and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Mr. Ayariga stated on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Thursday July 17, 2014.
The Sports Ministry set up a three-member Commttee to investigate matters of player indiscipline and some poor decisions by the management team, and a general poor performance in the tournament.
But the decision of President John Mahama to upgrade the Committee to a Commission of Inquiry – giving it the powers of a High Court- has given the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) cause to worry, prompting a letter to the Ghana FA on Wednesday demanding clarity.
The letter read in part, “We have learnt from different medi reports that the President of the Republic of Ghana has appointed a Commission of Inquiry and investigation into the Black Stars’ participaton in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The composition and competences of the said commission are unclear.”
It stated that “We deem it important to clarify from the beginning the procedures and to ensure that the Ghana Football Association can operate without inference as required by the FIFA Statutes.”
There is not much difference between the earlier committee established by the Ministry and the Commission established by the president, Mr. Ayariga noted.
The notable difference he observed, is the fact that witnesses would be “compelled to tell the truth” by swearing an oath at the Commission’s sitting. He said that was informed by subsequent public debates questioning confidence in the earlier committee.
“Initially we set up a committee of enquiry…but subsequently, there was a lot of public discussion” raising concerns over “the limitations of the powers of the committee to compel witnesses to come and compel the production of evidence and documents etc”.
The membership as well as terms of reference have not changed, the Minister maintained.
GFA to dialogue with Sports Ministry
Meanwhile, the GFA’s Communications Director, Ibrahim Sannie Daara says the FA will engage the Ministry of Youth and Sports to avoid any further embarrassment to the nation.
According to Sannie Daara, the “GFA is very, very open to any investigations but we must also play to FIFA rules”.
“This letter brings a new dimension to it. I think we must dialogue more with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and find a way that Ghana is not put in the negative light again internationally…”.
The FA will be holding an emergency meeting to decide on the response to FIFA within the next 48 hours, Sani suggested.
“I’d want to think that 24 hours, 48 hours must be at our earliest convenience because if an issue is pressing FIFA would want an urgent answer,” he said.