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Opinions of Wednesday, 30 March 2005

Columnist: Agyei, James Kwadwo

The Beginning of the End of Osafo Marfo

I have followed Football in Ghana closely and have observed with keen interest the ?Pull Him Down? attitude towards FA Chairmen and Club Chairmen and even Coaches. (Past and present, competent and incompetent) which has bedeviled Ghana?s Football? I don?t want to deal with the individual issues as there are countless lists of Club and FA Chairmen who have not served their full term because some people do not want to see that happen. A change is good when it brings something positive. The question we must ask ourselves is ?what have we been able to achieve after bringing all these men down?

Look at Kotoko for example, Bawuah, Ofori Nuako, Sims Mensah, Geogido and Herbert , just to name a few, what has their departure brought to the club? Back to square one. Today both Kotoko and Hearts are out of the Championship League. When the standard of League is poor in Ghana, no local team can survive on the African scene. What about the GFA? Have all these changes in the past brought any thing good to Ghana soccer? A big NO, Rather, things are getting worse and worse by the minute and this is what should alarm the new Minister.

I am not happy about the current impasse between the FA chairman, the Executive Council and now GHALCA. I had also hoped the new Minister will tackle this problem holistically to bring a lasting peace to football administration. And I am rather appalled by the Ministers attempt to get Nyaho to resign. The problem is not the making of Nyaho and it is also bigger than Nyaho himself. Calling for the resignation of Nyaho will not solve the problem. It is the structure of the GFA and its relationship with GHALCA, the Sports Ministry and the Government that needs to be looked into. Nyaho or no Nyaho Ghana Football will continue to sink with the ?pull him down? and ?I will show you where power lies? attitude. Removing or maintaining NYAHO at this time will do no good to football in Ghana. The fundamental problems affecting Ghanaian football is the trap that Nyaho has fallen into, ie a powerful but ?irresponsible? Executive Council who will not give any FA chairman the free hand to work independently. (I used the word irresponsible in the sense that they are not the ones who are blamed for the failures of the FA)

What is GHALCA becoming? What have they done for Ghana soccer as a body? For the records these club Chairmen have exploited Ghanaian players by paying them low salaries and pocketing their transfer fees from time immemorial. Ghanaian players became cheap commodities on the local market due to these selfish Club Chairmen. It was only Herbert Mensah who began a bold attempt to buy Charles Taylor from Olympics at 70million Cedis before other clubs started paying good money for local players. I will not focus this article on GHALCA, but they cannot escape blame for the deteriorating nature of football in Ghana.

Nyaho will eventually leave the scene for all those who want him out but I do not believe they are doing this for the sake of Ghana soccer but for their selfish interest. How long has Justice Ampiah and co been in charge of the GFA Congress and dictating to FA chairmen? Who takes the blames for our failures? Why should someone be blamed for a failure when he has no power to act and implement his own policies? This nonsense is what is killing soccer in Ghana and what the Minister needs to know to enable him address the issues holistically.

Dr Osafo Marfo has started on a bad note by trying to push Nyaho out. These same people will be calling for his head next time around when Nyaho is no more and Ghana Football will still be sinking. For someone with a rumored Presidential ambition, the Sports Ministry is more delicate than he thinks and for him to start behaving like this signifies the beginning of his end.

If Osafo Marfo is not interested in a lasting solution, he should force Nyaho out of office. Which part of the world does a mere association of club Chairmen controls the national FA chairman, It is only in Ghana. No wonder the last time we won an international cup was???????????.I can?t even remember. Much will be said but nothing will be done but for you Osafo Mrafo, the path you have chosen will lead you to your ?political grave?.



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