Sports Features of Friday, 30 November 2012
Source: Owusu-Barnes, Carl
According to BusinessDictionary.com perception is ‘the process by which people translate sensory impressions into a coherent and unified view of the world around them. Though necessarily based on incomplete and unverified (or unreliable) information, perception is equated to reality for most practical purposes and guides human behavior in general”. From the foregoing it can be stated that perception is somewhat steeped in REALITY and thus imperative for every well-meaning organization to focus on perception management especially when it has notoriously been associated with that term for ages. Perception management is thus very essential in order to forestall any unnecessary scrutiny, engender confidence and trust as well as ensure that ones words are in consonance with his actions and inactions.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) is one such organization that has fairly or unfairly had to deal with the perception of being a corrupt and mismanaged organization, and thus behoves on the authorities to embark on a self-reality check to put in place measures and mechanisms aimed at shoring up the confidence of the people which in turn will create a conducive atmosphere for effective governance and administration.
In a story on Ghanaweb dated 25th November, 2012 under the caption “GFA suffering from past experiences of corruption”, the GFA Chairman or President Kwasi Nyantakyi seemed to portray the notion of corruption in his outfit as emanating from perception due to past experiences and that things have changed. In essence he’s trying to tell us corruption was a thing of the past and that the current administration is full of “SAINTS” thus unfair they’re being tagged with the PERCEPTION label.
To further advance his argument Mr. Nyantakyi stated that “People always say that we’re stealing monies from the Ghana FA but this is not possible because we are being audited by the same audit service that handles the Presidency”. With all due respect is this guy hallucinating? Why would you even make such a comment when the body you’re trying to associate yourself with (the Presidency) is in itself fighting its own corruption PERCEPTION tag? Also for your information, Mr. President corruption isn’t just about not being able to balance the books but encompasses taking bribes, cooking up “ananse expenditures”, adding names of people who do not belong to GFA officialdom for trips with the aim of collecting allowances, bonuses, per diems etc. so don’t be deceived into thinking that with the balancing of the books the age old corruption perception label will be obliviously removed.
Let’s take for example the issue pertaining to the media. During the World Cup (WC) tournament in South Africa in 2010 it was believed that the GFA allocated $50,000 to the media which till date almost all the Ghanaian journalists have vehemently denied ever getting a dime from. As I type this article (2 years and counting) no information has been made public on the findings neither has anyone been reprimanded for wrongdoing or anything of the sort. Without regard to the Ghanaian tax payer this same outfit had the impudence to include in a budget proposal to the Ministry of Sports $70,000 for the upkeep of the media who will be covering the 2013 African Cup of Nations also to be held in South Africa (Is there anything with South Africa that enthuses the GFA so much?). Thankfully the media rejected this ‘offer’ thus prompting the GFA to backtrack and request the cancellation of that provision. In another report on Ghanaweb dated 25th November, 2012 under the heading “GFA scraps Media Relations provision for Afcon budget” Kwasi Nyantakyi is reported to have revealed during an interview with Kumasi-based Angel FM among others that “this made us to suggest that instead of these informal demands (by journalists), we budget for them so that at least we could give them about $200 or $500 (per head) to take care of themselves with it. That’s the rationale for it”. From the preceding it is luculent that Nyantakyi is talking about journalists outside of GFA’s own media set up, even if they have one. So suffice it to say that the premise for the $70,000 was truly to ‘cater’ for the journalists, let’s just do a little mathematical calculation here to ascertain whether this is an organization that is serious about managing perceptions:
$70,000/$200 = 350. $70,000/$500 = 140.
This calculation shows that at $200 per head Ghana will be looking at 350 Ghanaian journalists and at $500 per head will be looking at 140 Ghanaian journalists. Here then come my questions:
1. Is Nyantakyi telling us that Ghana is expecting between 140-350 Ghanaian journalists at AFCON ’13?
2. What is the number of accreditations CAF is giving to every participating country? Is it between 140-350? If it is then God save South Africa!!!!! If not then why is Ghana being given this SPECIAL treatment by CAF?
3. Is the GFA implying that the other private media houses do not provide enough funding to take care of the accommodation, transportation, feeding etc. of their employees (journalists) that taxpayers monies should be wasted as ‘freebies’?
4. Has he carefully considered what the granting of these monies will do to unbiased and accurate reporting by these journalists and its impact on the development of soccer in Ghana? For. e.g. If he Nyantakyi gives say Kwabena Yeboah $500 wouldn’t he be inclined to fail to report an act or omission of his (Nyantakyi’s)? What about it being unethical and unprofessional on the parts of both the GFA and the journalists?
5. Will receipts be provided to show how much journalist A had and for what? If not how would we know who got what? 6. Since by his own account during WC ’06 in Germany journalists were approaching politicians for money and they were doling out the cash from their pockets, which of the GFA members were going to be in charge of the cash or he was going to be the chief overseer? Will Randy Abbey have had $10,000 to be dishing out from the “Osu Stand”, he Nyantakyi another $20,000 from the VIP Stand, another with $10,000 from the “Upper Terrace”, another from “Popular Stand” or what? What a bunch of jokers!!!
My Nyantakyi if you really want to do away with the corruption perception firmly entrenched on your backs then you have to ensure that not only BIG SINS are done away with but the LITTLE ONES as well.
For now your comment is tantamount to a married man who professes to no longer commit adultery but secretly goes around fondling teenagers ‘titties’. I’m sorry but that’s the only vividly depicting analogy I could make to express my disappointment at what’s going on, and whiles at that could you tell Ghanaians how many people travelled to the USA as ‘GFA Officials” during the Ghana-Chile friendly in Pennsylvania a number of months ago? Some of us know a little bit more than the average fan so when you’re making such emphatic statements please make sure your house is in order. You and your fellow administrators hold the keys to doing away with the negative perception associated with your organization, and don’t try to pass the buck to previous administrations because that is highly disingenuous. Thank you.
PS: Shamo Quaye aka Papa Shamo, Shamo “Leather”, Shamo “Bebeto” Quaye, it’s been 15 years since (exactly today) you left for celestial heights but you forever command an irreplaceable spot in the memories and hearts of all soccer loving Ghanaians. Sorry I might be biased towards you but I cannot hide the fact that you were my soccer idle. May your soul continue to rest in perfect peace!!!!