Sports News of Friday, 18 July 2014


Ayariga calm over FIFA query to GFA

Minister for Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga, has said he understands football ruling body, FIFA, and its decision to write to the Ghana Football Association over the Presidential Commission of Inquiry but he insists that there is nothing to worry about.

He explained that FIFA’s wish to know what was happening in Ghana was very understandable and that the Ghana Football Association has confirmed that world football governing body has shown interest in the matters of the nation’s football administrators.

“I have heard in the news that FIFA has written to the GFA even though I have not seen the correspondence. The spokesperson of the GFA has stated that they have indeed received the letter but I am not worried about that.

“FIFA has every right to be interested in the matter and the GFA has said that FIFA wanted to get the right information from their local football body concerning the presidential commission thus the letter.

“That is not a sign that FIFA has any problems with what is happening now,” said the Minister on Citi FM’s Eyewitness News on Thursday.

There has been a lot of talk about the implications of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry whose work, according to the constitution, would have the powers of a high court and to some, that would be interference on the side of the state leading to possible sanctions from FIFA.

However, Sports Minister Ayariga indicated that FIFA has not stated Ghana’s falling foul of the law and the GFA must endeavour to co-operate and not see the move as interference from the government.

“I do not think that the letter from FIFA states they are not happy with the current situation. They simply said they wanted clarification on the matter. Perhaps, they did so to help them in their decision-making.

Those worried about the committee must know that the committee had clear terms of reference and a membership. The GFA publicly stated it would co-operate fully.

Following the upgrading of the committee to a commission, there were no changes to the membership and the terms of reference and they did not change their scope of work.

“What we are now hearing is that the GFA is reconsidering its position in terms of co-operation with the work of the commission.

“Nothing much has changed except that now, whoever appears must swear an oath while that would not have been done before the committee. So, there is nothing to be worried about. We just need to have more dialogue to solve this issue.

“I was happy when they said they would co-operate with the committee so I urge them to come on board so we work together to find ways of improving our performances in future tournaments,” the minister added.

The Commission is to look into Ghana’s poor performance at the 2014 World Cup and all matters related to the preparations of the team for the tournament and it has been given a 30-day working period to produce a report.