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Sports Features of Friday, 26 July 2013

Source: Christopher Opoku

Is the GFA heading for an oligarchy?

Last week I stumbled on some information at the Ghana Football Association. The information was that a proposal had been presented before the GFA Executive Committee that would vest more powers in the GFA Presidency.

As it stands now, the Vice President and members of the Emergency Committee of the GFA are voted for by the 24-member Executive Committee.

The proposal I stumbled upon seeks to change this so that in future, it is the GFA President that will appoint not only the Vice President, but the members of the Emergency Committee.

It is fair to say that no institution is perfect and that the current GFA administration led by President Kwesi Nyantakyi makes an effort to take all divergent views into consideration before taking decisions.

The Emergency Committee is also the second highest decision making body of the GFA after Congress. The Emergency Committee meets within short notice and virtually runs the GFA on a day-to-day basis.

I am no lawyer and so I will not even pretend to examine the legal ramifications of such a proposal, if ratified by Congress, but I am concerned because it looks to me like an attempt to rid the Emergency Committee of dissenting voices.

In fact, putting it bluntly, it is akin to appointing ‘yes men’ onto the Emergency Committee and that is a recipe for disaster!

In every organisation, there are bound to be disagreements amongst management members and even members of a Board.

The key thing is resolving such disagreements in a mature manner and even allowing such disagreements to generate solutions that will result in positive results for the institution in question.

In that light, my personal opinion is that such a proposal is only going to turn the GFA Presidency into a benevolent dictatorship.

In short, dissenting views, no matter how valid they are, will not be tolerated at the highest level and that cannot be right for our football.

To be absolutely fair, there may be extreme cases where a member of the Emergency Committee may deliberately go against general agreed opinion, but I have every reason to believe that this is not the case with the people on the Committee.

They are all intelligent and successful people who have been rightly voted unto the Committee by their Executive Committee colleagues. As a result, they would always take decisions in the interest of Ghana Football.

I sometimes get the feeling that personal feelings are sometimes allowed to get in the way of work and that is not right.

Once you belong to a group of people managing any concern, personal feelings are put aside so that you work professionally.

I am leading up to a point because it is no secret that this proposal is based on a situation where some relationships built over the years have deteriorated. For example, it is now known that GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi is now on very frosty terms with Emergency Committee member George Afriyie.

The irony of the situation is that Afriyie has been one of Nyantakyi’s most loyal aides; earning the moniker ‘Chief of Staff’.

From my investigations, the same nameless individuals who succeeded in turning Nyantakyi against the likes of Randy Abbey and Fred Pappoe are the very ones telling Nyantakyi all sorts of things about Afriyie and now both men barely speak to each other.

It is a very sad situation and I would not be surprised if the same nameless individuals who are doing this to satisfy their selfish interests are influencing Nyantakyi to make such a proposal.

This will only turn the GFA Presidency into a dictatorial oligarchy that will do our football no good. I am fervently hoping against hope that either the GFA comes out to say that the proposal is not going to Congress or at the very least; the big boys there would have a rethink.

Arrogating powers to one’s self is a sure way of heading down the Broadway to a massive fall and I am writing about this so that the awareness will stop this from happening.

In my view, the existing structures must be allowed to work so that we grow our football in the right direction.

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