The Ghana Football Association has presented a blank budget for the Friday 7th October Ghana – Uganda 2018 World Cup qualifier to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS). Items and notes have been provided in the budget but no corresponding monetary assignments were made against the budgetary items.
According to the president – Kwesi Nyantakyi, the vice president – George Afriyie amd the spokesperson – Ibrahim Sani Daara of the GFA – this bizarre move by the GFA is to protect the association’s image in the eyes of the public as the local football governing body has always been at the wrong end of allegations of financial improprieties in their supervision of the national soccer teams.
First of all it is against common sense that the Ghana Football Association would expect the budget its presents to the Ministry of Youth and Sports to be accepted in full without any objections. Naturally the person that gives out money will probe to the some extent to make sure there is value for money. I do not purport to be an expert in finance but this is widely the case.
Is the football association sending the message across that it did not defend the numerous budgets it presented to the sports ministry in the past?
This blank budget approach – a deviation of standard practice, considering the history between the GFA and the MOYS that it has not been the norm- highlights the weaknesses of the football body.
The spokesperson of the GFA, Mr. Sani Daara further alleges that the MOYS seek to tarnish the image of the GFA since Nii Lantey Vanderpuye became the sector minister. Well, what have enormously pockmarked the image of the GFA are not the actions of MOYS but the record speaks for itself – the famous ” coefficient of seven ” method of sharing of $577, 500 2014 World Cup money by Black Stars management committee members where the GFA president Nyantakyi could not give a thorough accountability when he appeared before the Dzamefe commission of inquiry widened the corruption suspicions people had in mind about the GFA.
For a football association that has suffered credibility and integrity injuries over the last few years, presenting blank budget to the government is not a clever way to try to win back the heart of Ghanaians and their support for the country’s number one national team. It only creates the impression that the GFA is running away from its responsibilities – the responsibility of drawing budgets for the national teams. In any case, it lies with the GFA to prove to the public that it is a clean institution.
If the MOYS accepts this GFA offer of budget making, will that mean GFA’s acceptance of allegations of financial improprieties in the past? And for how long will this continue?
If FIFA is seen as a corrupt body, it is for FIFA to prove or justify to the world that it is not and hence the creation of the FIFA reforms of which the GFA president Nyantakyi won an election to be part of the newly structured FIFA Council. Swiss and American officials will not draw up budget for FIFA because they suspected and raided FIFA offices and arrested FIFA officials in the famous 2015 FIFA corruption scandal- FIFA will not even relinquish it duties to Swiss and the American authorities . In this same sense of reasoning, its ridiculous for the GFA to run away from national team budget making because the association is seen as corrupt or because the MOYS allegedly leak documents to the media.
It is important to note that even the over 30 smaller sports associations that take very little funding from the government- Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, Boxing, Hockey etc- have not taken this stance of presenting blank budgets to the MOYS but rather the GFA that takes the lion share of the sports money of this country.
This is an an irritating sign of institutional greed.