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Sports Features of Monday, 21 July 2014

Source: The Scandal

Presidential Commission to divert attention and shift blame?

THE 3-Member Presidential Commission set up to investigate the appearance of the Black Stars at the 2014 Brazil World Cup is about to commence its work but impeccable information picked from the corridors of power is that the Commission is to fulfill two main roles, to divert attention from the pressing issues of the economy and to shift blame from government appointees who played various roles in delaying payments due to the Black Stars players and who also mismanaged the issue of supporters who were airlifted to the Latin American country to cheer the Stars.
According to signals picked from the seat of government, President John Mahama who immediately after the Black Stars elimination tasked the GFA to form a committee on their own to fact find and draw valuable lessons from the Brazil experience, was prevailed upon to rather ask for a Ministerial Committee and later a Presidential Commission to provide a means to divert the attention of Ghanaians.
With football seen as a passion of the nation, the information has it that government Communication experts and operators are confident that a publicly telecast Commission of Enquiry into anything related to the game, would provide an appropriate avenue to redirect the minds of Ghanaians from the current economic malaise the country finds itself in.
Again, the Presidential commission is seen as the appropriate way of shifting the blame from the Ministry of Sports particularly and other government appointees who supervised the mishaps which ensured that unlike 2006 and 2010, the players had to agitate for several days before their money was delivered to them after they threatened to boycott games at the World Cup. The blame for the poor performance of the Stars will, therefore, be conveniently dumped on the GFA, the technical team and the playing body by the commission.
The spinoffs from the Commission is also expected to provide the launch pad for a major attack on the GFA President which is expected to lead to his eventual resignation or sacking as GFA Boss as he is clearly not in the good books of many people both within and without the government who have not hidden their sentiments about the FA Presidency.
The setting up of the Presidential Commission has in the past few days brought up numerous discussions beginning with an Executive face off with the Legislature which wanted to set up a bi-partisan committee of enquiry and which was thought could have done a much more in-depth and objective job than a Presidential Committee which is being set up by the same persons who might have something to hide in the whole fracas concerning the world cup appearance.
Other eminent football administrators have all questioned the rationale behind the setting up of the Commission. Kofi Manu, popularly known as Blue Blue, a football administrator is on record to have questioned the propriety in setting up the Commission.
In an interview with OK fm on Thursday, an Accra-based radio station, Blue Blue stated “I wonder what the real rationale is in setting up this commission. Are we saying that anytime we go to a tournament and don't perform well, we will come and set up a presidential commission on it? What is the Commission going to investigate? They can investigate issues of the ministry and the monies given to people, but that should be where it ends. There is no sense in setting up a commission to investigate technical issues or management issues. Spain won the last world cup but was kicked out in the first round this time around just like Ghana, have the Spanish set up a Commission to investigate the teams poor performance? Italy, England and several other big football nations were eliminated in the first round, have they set up commissions?”
“If a player of Otumfuor's Kotoko slaps or fights Didi Dramani or Opoku Nti, will Otumfuor set up a Commission to investigate it? These are basic issues which do not need the setting up of a Commission. We have been to three World Cups; we did well in two and have not done well in one, is that enough basis for the setting up of a commission in a country which took 49 years to qualify for the world cup? How many commissions did we set up to find out why we weren't qualifying to the World Cup before 2006, or when we were not even qualifying for African Cups?” he asked.
Indeed the world football body, FIFA has written to the GFA seeking clarification on the mandate of the Presidential Commission.
The three-paragraph letter from FIFA, questioned the Ghana Football Association on the composition and competences of the Commission set up by Government.
The letter signed by Deputy General Secretary of FIFA, Markus Kattner read: “We have learnt from media reports that the Presidency of the Republic of Ghana has appointed a Committee of Enquiry and Investigation into the Black Stars' participation to the 2014 FIFA World cup in Brazil. The composition and the competences of the said Commission are unclear.
Provided the reports are true we deem it important to clarify from the beginning the procedures and to ensure that the GFA can operate without interference as required by FIFA statutes. Under this circumstance, we kindly ask you to provide us with a report at your earliest convenience.”
The three-member Committee comprises Appeal Court Judge, Justice Senyo Dzamefe, Sports Administrator, Moses Foh Amoaning and Kofi Anokye Darko.