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Brazil 2014 fiasco: “Commission of Inquiry won’t be intimidated” – Chairman

Members of Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Brazil 2014 World Cup

 The Presidential Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate Ghana’s participation at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil says it is unfazed by attempts by anybody or any institution to frustrate its work.

While not mentioning specific institutions and names, the chairman of the commission, Justice Senyo Dzamefe was emphatic about their independence.

“This morning we received a letter from the [Ghana Football Association] addressed to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Honorable  Mahama Ayariga  and copied to us,” he said on Monday at the first sitting at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The letter, Justice Dzamefe said, was dated August 7 and signed by Fifa Deputy Secretary General Markus Kattner.

The world football governing body’s letter sent last Thursday addressed its unease at the insistence on the government of Ghana to look into the Black Stars performance at the World Cup – but the Commission would not admit that their comments were aimed at Fifa.

“I want to state categorically that we are not intimidated by anybody,” Justice Dzamefe insisted.

Postponement

Meanwhile the commission has postponed its sittings  to Wednesday August 13.

The two other members of the commission are lawyer and veteran sports broadcaster Moses  Foh-Amoaning  and  Kofi   Anokye Owusu Darko, rescheduled to allow the institutions subpoenaed ample time to prepare before taking  their turns before the commission.

Four state-institutions were to be present at Monday’s sittings but only three showed up. The Bank of Ghana failed to show up for reasons that remain unclear but the Finance, Foreign Affairs and Sports ministries sent representatives.

Citi News’ Pearl Akanya Ofori reports that the atmosphere at the venue was expectant, but ultimately disappointing as no hearings came off.

Background

In the wake of Ghana’s poor show at the recent World Cup, the Sports Ministry set up a three-member committee to investigate matters of player indiscipline and some poor decisions by the management team, as well as general poor performance in the tournament.

However, President John Mahama later upgraded the setup from a committee to a Commission of Inquiry.

Article 279 of Ghana’s constitution says such a commission “shall have the powers, rights and privileges of the High Court or a Justice of the High Court at a trial.”

In the eyes of Fifa, this simply means the GFA could be on trial from a High Court, which may go contrary to their rules of engagement with member associations.

By: Pearl Akanya Ofori/Citifmonline.com/Ghana