Emmanuel Kwame Donkor, GNA
Accra, July 13, GNA - The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) on Tuesday, July 4, in a letter signed by its General Secretary, Fatima Samoura, appointed Mr Francis Oti Akenteng as a member of a two-man liaison team with Dr Kofi Amoah.
However, the appointment seems to have raised questions over whether this does not contradict with the terms of the injunction placed on the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and its officials or not?
Within the week in which Mr Oti Akenteng’s appointment was announced, an Accra High Court had granted the Attorney General’s request to place a 10-day long injunction on the GFA and its officials, while it prepared to file a request for the injunction to be made permanent.
The injunction basically translated as; “an order restraining the members, directors and officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) from exercising such powers as are ordinarily conferred on them by the provisions of the Companies Act (Act 179)”, as captured in a press statement signed by the Minister of Information, Dr Mustapha Abdul Hamid, on June 12, 2018.
The injunction also meant that GFA officials as they previously did, could no longer, act in the capacity of a GFA official either by organizing football matches or appointing executives and other officials, which is sort of what part of the mandate of the two-man liaison team formed.
Subsequently, the court on Thursday, July 12, granted an extension of an injunction against officials, members and directors of the GFA preventing them from undertaking any official capacity on behalf of the association.
The contradiction concerns stem from the appointment letter directed to Mr Francis Oti Akenteng by FIFA, whom in the said letter addresses Mr Akenteng, as the Technical Director of a banned GFA.
So does that Technical Director role, make him an official of the GFA, which was banned along with its officials and prevents him from either organizing football matches or appointing executives, or liaising on behalf of Ghanaian football teams to participate in football competitions?
What many Ghanaians expect from FIFA and the government, is to use people with zero ties to the banned GFA as appointees, if there should be an appointment of officials to form any form of body to see to the running of football permanently or temporarily, and Mr Akenteng has an arguably strong tie to the banned GFA, hence not fitting the bill set by Ghanaians.
The recipient address on the appointment letter from FIFA, stated, “Ghana Football Association, Mr Francis Oti Akenteng, Technical Director”, and that clearly showed that the world football governing body still regarded Mr Akenteng as the Technical Director of the GFA, an FA which had an embargo placed on it by a court in Ghana.
It could be argued that his appointment onto the liaison team was hugely made possible because of his former designation, and that somewhat disputes government’s injunction on the GFA and its officials preventing them from performing duties in that capacity.
The court granted an application filed by the by Attorney-General, acting on behalf of the government, for the dissolution of the GFA, thereby appointing Registrar General's Department, the sole obligation of managing the assets of the GFA to prevent any form of thievery whilst investigations were still ongoing.
The courts have therefore taken this measure on interim basis until the petition is fully heard with the GFA on the other hand, also challenging the Attorney General’s petition for their dissolution.
Notwithstanding, this means that, as at now, the Ghana Football Association, along with its officials are rendered non-operational by the injunction, awaiting total shutting down by the Registrar General.
Meanwhile, the two-member liaison team appointed by FIFA has also commenced work, with a meeting with members of the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) held last Monday, as they look to ensure Ghanaian teams participating in international competitions get to do that with hindrances.