Gold Coast Football Association
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) is the successor to the Gold Coast Football Association, which used to be the governing body for football in Ghana and was one of the oldest football associations in Africa, having been founded in 1920.
Cape Coast and Accra were the first colonial cities in sub-Saharan Africa to host formal leagues in the Gold Coast.
After a weak start in 1915, the league kicked off in 1922 with the Accra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club emerging as winners, taking the coveted Guggisberg shield – named after the progressive British governor of that period and the man who started the Accra Football League, Sir Gordon Guggisberg.
Football was brought to the Gold Coast near the end of the 19th century by merchants from Europe, who had by then conquered the coastal areas and built forts and castles to facilitate trade.
In their leisure time, the sailors would play football among themselves and with the indigenous people.
The popularity of the game spread quickly along the coast, culminating in the formation of the first football club, Excelsior, in 1903 by Mr. Briton, a Jamaican-born British citizen who was the then Head Teacher of Philip Quaque Government Boys School in Cape Coast.
As the popularity of the game grew, other amateur clubs were formed along the coast, including: Accra Hearts of Oak, Accra Standfast, Cape Coast Venomous Vipers, Cape Coast Mysterious Dwarfs, Sekondi Hasaacas, and Sekondi Eleven Wise.
The Gold Coast Amateur Football Association
In 1952, the Government of the Gold Coast enacted Ordinance 14, which established the Gold Coast Amateur Sports Council, and granted the Government of the Gold Coast the legal authority to control all amateur Associations, including Football.
As the popularity of the game spread throughout the country, the existing clubs met towards the end of 1930 and elected Richard Maabuo Akwei as their Chairman.
Towards the middle of 1950, the clubs, spearheaded by Ohene Djan, accused Akwei of maladministration and questioned his ability to help grow Ghanaian Football.
They therefore addressed petitions to the Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Charles Arden-Clarke, and the Pioneer Sports Organizer, Joseph Ranadurai, on the maladministration of the Amateur Football Association by Akwei.
While the petition was being addressed, Ohene Djan led a “Football Revolution" and succeeded in toppling the Akwei Administration in 1957.
The Football Revolution – 1957
In 1957, Ohene Djan was elected General Secretary of the Football Association by the clubs and the Ghana Amateur Football Association was officially founded.
He strategically affiliated the Association with FIFA in 1958 and the CAF in 1960.
Djan was instrumental in securing sponsorship for the first Ghanaian FA cup competition from a pharmaceutical firm, Merrs R.R. Harding and Company.
In the same year he succeeded in securing the services of an expatriate Coach, George Ainsley, for the National Team.
Then in 1959, he succeeded again in organizing the first national league, before Ghana became a republic on 1 July 1960.
The Winneba Declaration
Through the 1993 Winneba Declaration, Ghanaian football was able to shrug off its amateur status.
The formation of professional teams allowed clubs to be incorporated under the companies code (Act 179, 1963) as Limited Liability Companies.
The Ghana Amateur Football Association was affiliated with CAF in 1960, and in 1963 won the bid to host the 5th Africa Cup of Nations, to coincide with the Meeting of the (OAU) Heads of States and Government in Accra.
Ghana won the trophy and went ahead again to successfully defend it in Tunisia in 1965.
After the 1965 triumph, Ghana hosted and won the 13th Africa Cup of Nations in 1978, and four years later, won it again in Tripoli, Libya.
The team have won the Africa Cup of Nations four times (in 1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982), making Ghana the second most successful team in the contest's history, along with Cameroon.
Although the team did not qualify for the senior FIFA World Cup until 2006 when a young leader by name Kwesi Nyantakyi revolutionized the game, Ghana has enjoyed tremendous success at the youth level, winning the FIFA World Under-17 title twice and finishing runner-up twice.
Ghana is the only African country to have won the U20 World Cup in 2009 after defeating Brazil in the final of the tournament played in Egypt.
The Black Satellites have also finished second at the FIFA World Youth Championship twice.
Ghana became the first African country to win a medal in Football at the 1992 summer Olympics in Barcelona.
With regard to women's football, the Ghana Black Queens have participated in two World Cup tournaments and the Olympic Games.
They have also been runners-up to the Falcons of Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations series.
The Black Queens defeated Ivory Coast in early 2018 to win the maiden WAFU Women Cup tournament held in Abidjan.
Mr. Ohene Djan 1957–60 Mr. H. P. Nyametei 1960–66 Nana Fredua Mensah 1966–70 Mr. Henry Djaba 1970–72 Maj. Gen. R. E. A. Kotei 1972–73 Col. Brew-Graves 1973–75 Maj. George Lamptey 1975–77 Maj. D. O. Asiamah 1977–79 Mr. I. R. Aboagye 1979 Mr. Samuel Okyere 1979–80 Mr. S. K. Mainoo 1980–82 Mr. Zac Bentum 1982–83 Mr. L. Ackah-Yensu 1983–84 Mr. L. T. K. Caesar 1984 Mr. E. O. Teye 1984–86 Mr. Samuel Okyere 1986–90 Mr. Awuah Nyamekye 1990–92 Mr. Joe Lartey 1992–93 Mr. Samuel Brew-Butler 1993–97 Alhaji M. N. D. Jawula 1997–2001 Mr. Ben Koufie 2001–03 Dr. N. Nyaho-Tamakloe 2004–05 Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi 2005–present