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Sports News of Sunday, 4 March 2018


Randy Abbey highlights GFA's leadership and image crises

Former Ghana FA spokesperson, Randy Abbey says his recent doses of feedback for the association and its president Kwesi Nyantakyi are informed by the current state of the sport in the country.

According to Mr Abbey, the GFA is currently suffering an image and leadership crises.

Mr Abbey who spoke on the March 3 edition of the Joy sports Link on Joy 99.7fm, said his tenure as FA Spokesperson, which spanned 8 years, saw the FA make major achievements on many fronts of football development.

"We achieved major strides in the area of sponsorship for the Black Stars, opened a new era of big sponsorship margins for the local league and qualified the black stars for two consecutive World Cup Tournaments," he said on Saturday.

Mr Abbey stressed especially on the league and how the FA adopted a professional approach to evaluating the previous sponsorship from Ghana Telecom and giving the league its proper value in the subsequent sponsorship deals.

"We had a big product but did not realise it at that time. Our efforts brought back that realization which helped us to strategically place ourselves for big value sponsorships for the league. It ended the era of brands determining how much they wanted to invest in our league as against our placing value on it and having them meet it,"

"I speak about that period and how things were done because I was a part of the team and President Kwesi Nyantakyi fused our ideas into decision making. So with that approach, we made major strides but I don't know about the internal practices now. But it is clear that there are problems.

"Our premier league is on hold because the FA has failed to apply its own rules. Clearly, there was a will to brush aside the concerns raised by Great Olympics and go ahead with the league but that proved futile and now there is a big mess. All I am asking for is for things to be done right at the Ghana FA," he added.

A key suggestion made by Randy Abbey was for the Ghana FA to publish their financials even though it's not a requirement of law.

"In dealing with the bad public perceptions about the GFA, leadership can, for instance, publish its audited accounts after every year to restore public confidence in the area of financial integrity. The GFA is not obliged to do this but implementing this measure can restore a lot of public confidence."

He responded to a range of issues and concerns from a world wide audience about his term as FA Spokesperson.

Mr Abbey who is also the host of Good Morning Ghana on Accra-based Metro TV re-echoed his lack of interest in the FA Presidency.

"My interest at the moment is to build my capacity and as a result, I invest a lot of time and energy in my doctorate degree course."

The former Hearts of Oak Spokesperson, however, hinted that he will support a candidate for next year's Ghana FA Presidential Election. He was tight-lipped about the specific candidate but was categorical about not supporting another Kwasi Nyantakyi bid.

"I will openly declare support for one candidate once the full declarations of intention are made," he added.

Mr Randy Abbey also made time to respond to the criticism that as a club owner, he has been unsuccessful in leading second-tier side Heart of Lions to qualify for the Ghana Premier League.

"We have been very competitive. We came close once and are still working towards it. Within the next 10 years, we should be a big premier league brand that has quality material and wins titles and has a good brand appeal,".

He admitted that football is a capital intensive venture that requires patience, a strong will and planning.

"Playing in the division one league has its own challenges from bad pitches to security of clubs."

Mr Randy Abbey also revealed that one of the biggest challenges handling the Ghana FA's communication was the misrepresentation of statements he relayed on behalf of the FA.

"Many media houses mostly represented the communication as my personal opinion. This was wrong."

Abbey also served the Ghana FA in various capacities Executive Committee member and Black Meteors management committee chairman.

He was also the Referees Appointment Committee Chairman.