Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The government’s white paper on the 2014 World Cup Committee appears to have shielded leading NDC party officials who were deeply involved in the organization of the Black Stars trip to Brazil for the football fiesta.
However, the report seems to be shepherding Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Kwasi Nyantakyi to the gallows.
For instance, the report appeared silent on most of the roles played by Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, then Minister of Youth and Sport whose evidence before the three-member Commission that investigated the team’s organization in Brazil, generated public uproar.
It was interesting to note that almost all the recommendations of Dzemefe Commission that directly indicted Afriyie Ankrah were vetoed by President Mahama in the white paper.
It will be recalled that immediately Ghana’s worst ever performance at a World Cup was over, President Mahama removed Afriyie-Ankrah who was his campaign manager in the 2012 controversial general elections, and brought him to the Flagstaff House, the seat of government as Minister of State.
Public perception has it that the John Mahama’s NDC government is only acting on the report because of what is happening in the circles of the Federation of International Football (FIFA) which has been rocked by bribery and corruption scandal.
Under FIFA rules, there is a clause for non-interference of governments in the organization of the game and Football Association (FA) chiefs have largely been immune from prosecution but the indictment of many top FIFA executives by the United States for bribery and corruption appears to have emboldened other governments to follow suit.
The white paper which was signed by President Mahama on June 1, 2015 after the Dzemefe Committee submitted its work on March 30, 2015 said the BNI should investigate an amount of $200,000.00 paid to the GFA Boss by the state towards a friendly match whilst the Black Stars were preparing for Brazil 2014 and the investigators were required to find out if there was agents funding of those friendly matches.
The white paper further said Mr. Nyantakyi’s unwillingness to account for $577,500.00 was “unfinished business” and directed the BNI to go after him to bring the matter to a conclusion.
“The commission concluded that the GFA President Kwasi Nyantakyi collected an appearance fee of $577,500.00 for seven management members but only five of them were at the World Cup,” adding “If it turns out that only the five named members of the Management Committee who were in Brazil were paid the appearance fees, then the GFA Chairman should refund the amount of $165,000.00 being the appearance fees of the two Management Committee members who were not in Brazil. The government so directs.”
The report said Mr. Nyantakyi should be investigated for receipt of $200,000.00 from the government towards a friendly match in preparation for the 2014 World Cup vis a vis agent funding in order to clear any doubt of double funding.
The report also said that there should be a forensic audit of the accounts of the GFA with respect to claims of losses totaling $1,002,000.00 incurred during matches involving Ghana and Cape Verde, Nigeria and Togo.
According to the report, the claim by the GFA of an amount of $350,000.00 received from the Japan match was used to offset the deficit in the Ghana/Cape Verde match should be investigated.
The BNI will also investigate whether match fees for the Holland/Ghana game and the Ghana/South Korea match was eventually paid by the agent or organizer after the GNPC funded it as well as how the GFA applied the FIFA World Cup preparation money of $1.5 million and the $2million the association received from the GNPC vis a vis match agent funding.
Afriyie Ankrah escapes
The white paper vetoed the commission’s recommendation that Afriyie Ankrah should be made to provide the necessary third party vouchers from the transport companies or refund GH¢15,000.00 reported spent.
The government said “the use of Honour Certificate to account for this type of expense is not acceptable,” as declared by the commission with respect to Afriyie-Ankrah was untenable.
According to the white paper “government is of the view that the members of the Project Committee are all mature and experienced persons of stature and substance and should, therefore, be held liable for acts and omission for which they were assigned responsibility.”
The report said the former minister should only be held personally liable only in cases where a member of the Project Committee could not be identified as having been in charge of a particular matter for which funds had not been accounted for.
The report said that any misapplication or misappropriation of fundsgiven by the GNPC to E-volution International on behalf of the ministry to establish fan parks should be refunded by the private company or surcharged to Afriyie Ankrah.
Unaccounted for expenditure
The government said it had accepted the commission’s recommendation that the unaccounted for expenditure of GH¢189,000.00 should be investigated and those found culpable surcharged.