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Sports Features of Tuesday, 18 September 2018


Make it big, Mr Fixit, et al!

Call him the super sub of Ghana Football administration and the description would be apt!

Dr Kofi Amoah, the name that sounds like music in the ears of FIFA and the government of Ghana has been living up to his Citizen Kofi accolade since the recent crisis erupted.

Like a polished diamond, the Western Union boss has been so precious, glittering so bright in high level debates within and without since June towards finding a fitting intermediary to champion the cause to redefine football administration in the country.

In consultation with FIFA and CAF, the affable Dr Amoah was finally made the chairman of a two-man liaison team to coordinate the affairs of the national teams in the past weeks in the absence of the moribund Executive Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

And as predicted in my previous piece, the latest Mr Fixit in Ghana Football was later endorsed by a three-man FIFA delegation last Thursday as the president of the newly-formed Normalisation Committee.

Unlike Dr Amoah, his vice Lucy Quist and the two other members of the Committee, Kofi Dua-Adonteng and Ana Odofoley Nortey, have never served on the top hierarchy of the GFA before. However, that is no excuse for them to disappoint, especially after accepting the challenge to help transform 'the passion of the nation.'

As was manifest during the vetting, tempers are hot and expectations are so high that there will be no room for compromises, especially from the so-called football people whose actions and inactions have incidentally brought us where we are today.

At least, the fierce reactions from some club owners and administrators which greeted the vetting of former GFA chairman, Lepowura M.N.D. Jawula, and the former Division One League Board chairman, Owoahene Acheampong, should be enough signal to the Normalisation Committee to tread cautiously.

Though the reason for Alhaji Jawula's exclusion is not known, I believe his wealth of experience would have come handy for the committee. Alhaji is a collosus in Ghana Football, his shortfalls notwithstanding!

Jawula's partnership with Dr Amoah as the vice chairman of the CAN 2008 LOC saw Ghana hosting a successful tournament to the admiration of all. That telepathy could have done some magic this time round.

Though Dr Amoah, an out-and out businessman, might have gained some grounds since cutting his teeth as a football administrator in 2004, the same cannot be said of the men whose mainstay is football.

After a brief stint with the GFA Management Board then under the Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe administration which was shortlived in 2005 to pave way for the last reforms, followed by his role as the chairman of the CAN 2008 LOC, Dr Amoah has been out of football till his recent appointment as the head of the liaison team, whose other member was Coach Francis Oti Akenten.

That therefore suggests the need for a full-fledged football administrator who is well-versed in the FIFA, CAF and GFA statutes to be drafted to the committed forthwith to enhance its work. This is crucial, especially where the other members are also not actively involved in football.

Of the three, only Mr Dua-Adonteng can be said to be anywhere close to football as a former Board member of Asante Kotoko during Lawyer Adu Gyamfi's era as Board Chairman. The situation is not funny at all, considering the magnitude of the task ahead of the Committee in the next six months, including reviewing the statutes of the GFA in accordance with Article 15 of the FIFA Statutes.

When it comes to governance, I expect the expertise of Dr Amoah and his vice Lucy, who is a former Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, to come into play, while the two legal brains - Naa Nortey from the Attorney-General's and Dua-Adonteng cater for the legalities in the scope of their work.

But let me emphasise that the Committee still needs somebody who is knowledgeable about the rules and regulations of football to create the necessary balance in its operations to make things easier for their other members.

Apart from that, the Dr Amoah Committee needs do a broad-based consultation with the club's and those who matter in football to ensure a thorough job.

Of course, there is no way such a mandate can be delivered successfully without stepping on toes. For me, one of the most challenging tasks facing the Committee has to do with the forensic audit it has to carry out on the FA's accounts as soon as possible.

After successfully reviewing the GFA statutes and also balancing the books to the satisfaction of all, the role of an electoral commissioner for the next FA elections will then be a mere formality to climax the mandate of the Normalisation Committee as it hands over to the next GFA president and his team to open a new chapter for Ghana Football.

Though the task looks quite herculean, I believe Mr Fixit and his team have what it takes to surmount it with the support of all Ghanaians. Let's prove the naysayers wrong for once!