The Ghana Football Association on 25th October 2019, held its extra-ordinary congress to elect the President of the Ghana FA.
Kurt E. S Okraku was elected as President of the Ghana Football Association by 93 out of 120 delegates after 3 rounds of voting.
After assuming office, these are the 6 most important decisions for the Kurt-led Executive Council to take. In the opinion of many, these 6 critical decisions (in no particular order) could determine the success or otherwise of their tenure of office:
1. Election of the vice president
Article 37 (8) of the statute of the Ghana Football Association prescribes how the Vice President should be elected. “The Vice President of the Executive Council shall be elected from amongst the Members of the Executive Council at its maiden sitting. He shall act in the absence of the President”
This has become critical because, in the opinion of some observers, the Ghana situation did not require a Normalization Committee. However, this had become necessary due to the absence of a President, Kwesi Nyanyakyi, who had resigned and was subsequently banned by FIFA after the Number 12 expose and the absence of a Vice George Afriyie, who had also been fired by Nyantakyi, who appointed him. (FIFA together with Government of Ghana appointed a Normalization Committee to stir the affairs of the FA because of the power vacuum created and also to reform the Association. Favourite to land this job are Fred Archie, Mark Addo and Randy Abby.
2. Financial Audit of the FA accounts
After taking over any Company or institution, it is imperative to know the true financial state of the institution. This would guide the new administration on how to achieve its targets and in the game-changer manifesto, the promises are many.
It is also important since this was not on the agenda at the last congress, the Normalization committee spent 14 months in office, it is only fair for the new administration to know how much the NC met in the account after the account was released by Government and how much they left behind.
FIFA sent expects to do Forensic Audits of the FA accounts after Number 12 expose. It is also a requirement by the statute of the FA to have an Auditor and in the past, this was done by (Auditor General of Ghana) to audit and present an annual report to stakeholders, which I am told the NC has done. For Transparency and Accountability purposes, this is the right thing to do.
3. Appointment of a General Secretary
In October 2018, the General Secretary, Isaac Addo relinquished his position on health grounds. Since then, his deputy, Alex Asante, who doubles as the international Relations Officer has held the fort. The General Secretary position is one of the most critical positions at the FA, since he is the head of the secretariat and also runs the day-to-day activities of the FA. A good and effective General Secretary means a strong and effective FA, more so when the new statute has given him more powers. For instance, in the new statute, the General Secretary
- shall be responsible for the preparation of the Annual Financial Statements of GFA and ensure the auditing of the Financial Statement as prescribed by law.
- He shall be responsible for the certification of all documents relating to expenses and income.
- He shall be responsible for the recruitment and dismissal of all staff subject to the approval of the Executive Council where necessary.
- He shall be responsible for maintaining good relations between GFA and other National Associations, WAFU, CAF, and FIFA as well as the relevant State Agencies and international organizations.
- The General Secretary shall ensure that all bodies of GFA function effectively to achieve the objectives specified by these statutes.
- The General Secretary and/or the President shall represent GFA in negotiations with third parties.
- The General Secretary shall sign all documents and letters binding on GFA except in cases that require approval of the Executive Council and the President’s signature.
These are but a few of the powers vested in the General Secretary by Article 44 of the statute.
4.Kwesi Appiah’s contract.
The head coach of the Black Stars, James Kwesi Appiah’s contract would end in December owing to the 3-month contract extension he was given after the Stars’ abysmal performance at the last AFCON in Egypt.
Many Ghanaians called for his head after the Black Stars elimination in the Round of 16. His original contract ended in February but was given a contract extension till the end of the Nations Cup (because the date for the AFCON had change from January to June). However, due to the fact that the FA was going to elect new leaders and also because the Black Stars had qualifiers against South Africa at home (14th Noverber,2019) and Sao Tome 4 days after, the Coach was allowed to stay on. It is important we get finality on the technical direction of our team; whether Kwesi Appiah stays or we move on without him.
5. Palma’s CAS case, the possible outcome
In effect, this is completely out of the hands of the current leadership of the FA since all they can do is to hope and pray that the decision of CAS goes in favour of the FA. If not, the decision will also not be an annulment of the election and a rerun but would be a compensation for causing an unrepairable damage to Palma. Palma was disqualified by the vetting committee for seeking the high office as President of the Football Association. Palma’s disqualification was based on two things. First, his refusal to pay the famous 10% of the transfer of Joseph Painstil to Hungarian top-flight side Gent from Tema Youth in September 2017 (breach of Article 33(5)(c) and second, his comments on Happy Fm after the Black Stars failed to qualify to the 2018 World Cup. It is expected that the Executive Council meet to take a decision on the possible outcomes of the case. The final verdict might take some time but that day will definitely come just like, Tema Youth vs GFA and Phar Rangers vs GFA. I know history has a way of repeating itself but that is a story for another day.
- Change of the share-holders of the FA
The Ghana Football Association is a registered company under the Companies Act 1963 (act 179). The GFA is a company limited by guarantee; basically, the FA is a non-profit organization and under this provision, the names of the directors of the Company must be registered with the Registrar Generals Department. In the previous administration, it was the members of the Emergency Committee whose names were registered as directors of the company, GFA. They are Kwesi Nyantakyi, George Afriyie, Nana Benyin Eyison, Eddie Doku and Kwaku Eyiah.
Now the difficulty for the new administration is that in the new statute there is no provision for an emergency committee. We are yet to see if all the 12 members of the newly elected Executive Committee would be registered as the new directors of the company. Whatever it is, the change must be done, but as to the how, we can only wait and see.
- In an office where good people can turn into public enemy overnight, I can only wish President Kurt E. S Okraku and his Executive Council the very best because they would need it.