As Ghanaians, we are living testimony to the successes and shortfalls of Kwesi Nyantakyi’s era between December 30th, 2005 and June 7th, 2018. The successes are remarkable whilst the shortfalls are visibly unforgettable.
With our arms wrapped around our necks, we watched in stupefaction as the Ana’s Number 12 Exposé in June, 2018 uncovered the damning corrupt practices which had engulfed our football for ages.
Its implications on Ghana and Africa’s football were so devastating that Morocco lost its bid to host the 2026 World Cup whilst implicated African referees were dropped from officiating in Russia, 2018.
The Government of Ghana’s dissolution of the GFA and FIFA’s intervention which subsequently led to the birth of the Normalization Committee are still fresh on our memory.
Impressively, an 18-Club League and a team of 13 experienced individuals with high integrity and proven track-records to lead our GFA are the colossal legacies left behind by the Normalization Committee. The composition of the Executive Council (ExCo) of the GFA is what inspires hope among Ghanaians. As the highest decision making body of the GFA, it should be made up of individuals who have immense knowledge about our football ecosystem.
Creditably, the 120 delegates gave us more than we expected as they bequeathed to us a saturated solution of seasoned football administrators and experienced journalists-cum business moguls to lead the GFA. The net effect is the combination of football ideas and modern marketing principles and strategies needed for the rescue mission for our football.
The ExCo led by Kurt E.S Okraku is on the rescue mission and therefore cannot afford to disappoint Ghanaians. Mr. Okraku, you were particularly voted for due to your long association with football. You have seen and been through it all since your entire career has revolved around football.
From your humble beginning as a sport presenter, writer and producer to management of some of the renowned clubs in the country and now as the GFA boss, you have a lot of experience under your sleeves to steer Ghana football out of the doldrums. All that you have achieved prior to this position is nothing to Ghanaians. What matters most is the legacy that you and your team will leave behind.
Being supported by veteran football administrators like George Amoako, Randy Abbey and co with similar credentials, the huge expectations on your neophyte administration should not be too difficult to handle.
In your midst is the first elected female representative. The 74-year old Habiba Atta Forson is credited for pioneering women’s football in Ghana. The founder of the Fabulous Ladies is expected to make a strong case for the betterment of women’s football. Taking into consideration her profile, with your support, this should not be a difficult task to accomplish.
So unique about your ExCo is the fact that, majority of your members are business-oriented. A strong case can be made for Dr. Toni Aubyn who comes to the table as a business guru. As a former CEO of Ghana Chamber of Mines and his association with Tullow Ghana and Goldfields Ghana, sponsorships and rebranding that Ghanaians are expecting are not far-fetched.
From the journalistic angle, the likes of Randy Abbey, Samuel Anim Addo and yourself been seasoned journalists, efforts towards courting a cordial, healthy and cooperative relationship with the media should not be a problem.
All said and done, the football fraternity is aware of the mess that you have inherited and we strongly believe that you have the men to fix it. Your first task is to initiate reforms that will gear towards reviving, redeeming and restoring the dented effigy of our football. This will go a long way to inspire hope and re-kindle the zeal and passion Ghanaians have for the game.
In concluding, your individual success stories and the successes of the erstwhile administration have set the lower limit for your performance. Per your achievements and the expectations of Ghanaians, the standard has been raised so high. Nonetheless, these successes are there to motivate you whilst the shortfalls that you inherited are there to teach and guide you.
You cannot afford to disappoint Ghanaians by going below this standard. All the best.
▪Hon. Kojo Asemanyi, MP-Gomoa East Constituency
▪Vice-Chairman, Parliament, Youth, Sports and Culture Committee