Number 12, the famed investigative video that exposed bribery and corruption in Ghana football in June 2018 shook the foundations of our game. It caused upheavals within the leadership of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and its dishonourable refereeing gang; stripping naked the callousness of some them who traded their FIFA badges for money and goat.
As if the exposé by ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas did not disrupt our game enough, here stands Ghana football again, awaiting verdict (on August 4, 2020) in a case arising from another form of “corruption”, which may end the legitimacy of the Kurt Okraku-led administration. The outcome of the case, which is between Tema Youth President, Wilfred Osei Kwaku (Palmer) and the GFA, may well upset Kurt’s administration.
Palmer, who filed the case at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) primarily on the premise of his disqualification by the Normalisation Committee (NC), in the run-up to the Presidential election last year, has literally been breathing fire on the neck of Kurt Okraku. He is seeking some reliefs among which is to have a re-run of October 25, 2019 GFA polls, which Kurt Okraku won. Out of the fear of losing, (and this is the view held by some commentators), Kurt has lately been taking “political steps” to court the trust of delegates should there be an election re-run.
There are those who have held that, Kurt should not have passed the NC’s integrity test in the first place, on the back of the ramifications Dreams FC suffered in the infamous Cudjoe Mensah case. These are views of the same people who believe, Palmer has made Kurt Okraku quite uncomfortable in recent months with the looming abrupt end to his reign. For me, neither Kurt’s discomfort nor Palmer’s hopes of victory at CAS tickles me.
I am concerned about the unending image or reputational damage Ghana football has suffered in recent years. If a re-run of the election is ordered, we should be prepared for more disruptions and that will fully underscore how we did not learn sufficiently from #12. A re-run, among other things, will mean that, the NC either did a bad job in the election process or Palmer has had no case all this while. It is Ghana football that would have been slaughtered somewhat in both scenarios.
Let’s not forget, Palmer may be thrown out. In that case, Kurt will have the peace of mind to run our game with a greater duty to be transparent. Now, it is safe to argue that, Ghana football is at some crossroads. We are not yet out of the confusion #12 wrapped around our game. At this stage, the country’s football must get ready to swallow another bitter pill in an attempt to recovery from the troubling issues of integrity, transparency and poor handling of fundamental issues that engender trust.