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Sports News of Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Kwesi Nyantakyi was not my friend; I initially believed in his vision – George Afriyie

Former Ghana Football Association Vice-President, George Kwasi Afriyie, has denied having any personal relationship with the disgraced former Ghana Football Association [GFA] President, Kwesi Nyantakyi.

According to Mr. George Afriyie, he had a strictly working relationship with Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi that did not extend beyond the boardrooms.

Mr. Afriyie in an interview with Godfred Akoto Boafo on Citi TV’s Face to Face program, explained that he has been to Nyantakyi’s house only four times during the 13 years they worked together.

He said people he considers as friends were people he could confide in and go to their homes not less than ten times in a year to discuss various matters of interest.

“A friend is someone you constantly visit, share ideas, both families have some level of ties, to call someone a friend is so deep, but for me he was boss and we enjoyed a very good working relationship, that is how I want to put it, because the one I call my friend the minimum times I visit his house in a year is not less than 10 times, but for Mr. Nyantakyi throughout my association with him when I knew him in 2003, 2004, I have been to his house a maximum of 4 times.”

Mr. George Afriyie, known in the past as an avid supporter of then Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi recounted how the latter stages of Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi’s reign as Ghana’s Football Boss saw him assume a ‘know-it-all’ approach towards his work thereby making him unapproachable.

He also accused Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi of becoming power drunk, adding that the disgraced Ghana Football Association boss was once a good listening leader with a vision and a zeal to execute his mandate in the early part of his reign.

“The truth is, I will die for anything I believe in. At the time Kwesi Nyantakyi came into power, at the time I saw his vision, zeal, vim and everything, I was ready to do anything, no doubt about that. It was about his vision. He was a good listener at that time.

“It is normal with every leader, it gets to a point where you become too corrupted with power, because the last days of Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi I feel so sorry because you could see it coming.”

He also accused Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi of bias and abusing his office in the circumstances leading to his removal as the Vice-President of the GFA.

“I wouldn’t want to say things about a man who won’t be here to defend himself, but the truth is that circumstances leading to my removal as GFA Vice-President is clear and out there for everyone to see, these are so fresh in the minds of a lot of people in the country.”

“I vie for GFA President position.”

George Afriyie, in the interview also reaffirmed his intentions to contest for the presidency of the country’s football governing body, when nominations open.

This is in spite of revelations from the Number 12 investigative documentary of Anas Aremeyaw Anas, which implicated several members of Afriyie’s former working colleagues.

“I want to say it here now and clear. If the nominations are opened tomorrow, George Afriyie will pick his nomination form, get it endorsed and contested the GFA elections.”

In March 2018, the former Liberty Professionals and Okyeman Planners chief declared his intentions to contest the GFA presidency, opening up a possibility of coming up against his then boss, Kwesi Nyantakyi, in the elections which were scheduled to take place in 2019.

A month later in April, Afriyie was sacked as GFA vice president, following widespread reports of palpable discord between him and his boss Nyantakyi.

The Number 12 documentary led to a lifetime ban for Nyantakyi, and the GFA’s Executive Committee, of which George Afriyie is a member, being replaced by a Normalization Committee.