Ghanaian football enthusiasts who were harbouring hopes that the recommendations in the White Paper, released after a probe into the issues that marred the appearance of men’s national football team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be implemented, have been dealt a massive blow.
President Akufo Addo has revealed that the white paper produced from the evidence gathered by the Dzamefe Commission to serve as a roadmap for the administration of football in the country has been forgotten and is not one of his major worries.
The 2014 White Paper was generated following a commission of enquiry which was set up by former President John Mahama to investigate Ghana’s disastrous Brazil 2014 World Cup Campaign.
As part of its work, the Presidential Commission headed by Justice Senyo Dzamefe uncovered a number of issues, including several cases of alleged embezzlement of state funds as well as the reason behind the infamous airlifting of 3 million dollars to pay Black Stars players.
According to the President, the White Paper hasn’t come before him since he assumed office.
He, however, stated his belief that the Sports Minister would brief him on the report and the recommendations which were made in due course.
“Am I interested in the 2014 white paper? On these matters, truth is usually the best answer. To be honest, I’ve forgottten about the 2014 White Paper. But I have no doubt that my Minister of Sports is fully up to it and will advise in due course what should be the reaction of me and the government to it. But it has not been something that has been very much on my radar,” he said.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports has however failed to make any concrete statement on the implementation of the White paper in their one year in charge.
‘So far, so good’
The President, responding to a question on the performance of Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah so far, gave his backing to his appointee.
The Minister has come under a lot of flak from sections of the media and sports fans for what they say is an underwhelming first year in charge of the outfit.
However, the President believes that contrary to that opinion, the Mr. Asiamah has performed creditably in his first year in office.
“The output of the Sports Minister, so far so good as far as I’m concerned. If your opinion is different then for the time being on his retention in office, it’s my view that matters.”
‘GFA must be independent’
The President also stated that given world football governing body FIFA’s rules against governmental interference in the affairs of football federations, the government can’t intervene in alleged cases of mismanagement at the GFA.
He believes that it is up to the managers of football in the country to ensure that such allegations are investigated and persons found guilty sanctioned.
“As far as mismanagement within the Football Association is concerned, my understanding is that GFA by FIFA rules is supposed to be an independent organisation. Those who are involved in football administration in this country will deal with issues of mismanagement,” Nana Addo said.
“I don’t believe it’s in an area where the government should intervene to sort things out if things need to be sorted out. Those in the industry, in the sector, those in football are the ones who are meant to deal with football issues. My understanding is that is the basic rule that FIFA is very insistent on that there should be no executive interference in the administration of football anywhere.”
By: Benjamin Nketsia & Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana