FIFA Council member still in post, says Ghana FA after journalist’s expose

by Keir Radnedge, AIPS Football Commission Chairman

London, June 7, 2018 – The Ghana Football Association has denied reports that its president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, has resigned as a member of the FIFA Council after new bribery accusations.

Last night saw the first public screening of a two-hour television documentary in which Nyantakyi appeared to be seen in a hotel room accepting a $65,000 bribe from a supposed businessman seeking to sponsor the Ghanaian league for up to $15m over three years.

The two-hour documentary, When Greed and Corruption Become the Norm, was screened in the 6,000-capacity Accra International Conference Centre. It is the work of journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and was first shown privately to senior police authorities last month.

Nyantakyi, 49, has been the president of the GFA since 2005 and a member of the governing council of the world football federation since 2016. He became president of West African Football Union Zone B in 2011 when he was also appointed as a member of FIFA’s Olympic football organising committee.

He has also served on the FIFA associations committee and is first vice-president of the Confederation of African Football.

The documentary also showed Nyantakyi offering to facilitate the award of key government contracts to the businessman on conditions that he paid $12m in bribes through him to high-ranking officials and politicians including President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Football officials including referees were shown accepting bribes ranging from goats to cash sums of between $50 and $650 to make favourable decisions.

Nyantakyi requested $5m for Akufo-Addo, $3m for Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, $2m for the roads minister, $1m for a deputy roads minister and another $1m for him and one of his aides.

Akufo-Addo, who watched the video last month, denied any knowledge of Nyantakyi’s claims and has launched a criminal investigation for fraudulent misrepresentation.

Last month Nyantakyi was detained on his return to Ghana at Kotoka International Airport and questioned. He denied all wrongdoing and was later released on bail. He said then: “This is bad publicity for me. I would have wished to be in the media for winning a trophy for Ghana and not having to deal with the police on a matter like this.”

Some local reports claimed he has submitted his resignation as a member of the FIFA Council however the GFA has insisted he remains in all his football positions.

Spokesman Sannie Dara said: “It’s not true that president Kwesi Nyantakyi has resigned as a member of the FIFA Council. Those reports are false. Kindly discard the report. President Nyantakyi is still a FIFA Council member.”

He is the second CAF delegate on FIFA Council to run into domestic difficulties in the past six weeks.

In April Constant Omari Selemani, president of the football association of the Democratic Republic of Congo, was detained briefly over allegations – which he has denied – of misuse of funds and embezzlement of around $1m on behalf of national and club teams of the DRC.

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