• Home
  • News
  • Regulatory & Integrity
  • Reaction to newspaper publication

Reaction to newspaper publication

13 years ago

It is always the one who reacts who appears to be punished but never the one who provokes however FA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi is bent of continuing with his open door policy but always ready to set the records straight.

Ghana Football Association President, Kwesi Nyantakyi has been shocked at the misrepresentation given to his reaction by a local bi-weekly sports paper which reported that the FA was not obliged to present accounts to anybody.

After an initial denial of the first story carried out by the Graphic Sports on the finances of Ghana’s qualification and participation at the World Cup finals, the FA President has again been forced to respond to the twist given his reaction by the newspaper in another story.

Kwesi Nyantakyi’s reaction to Graphic Sports’ earlier write up according the newspaper’s story put out last Friday quoting from the FA President’s text reaction implied that the Ghana Football Association was not obliged to present accounts to anybody.

However, the FA President remains absolutely confident and entreats all passionate patrons of the game to take a comprehensive look at his first reaction to the newspaper’s report.

We also publish below his latest reaction to the misrepresentation of his first statement.


Last week, I had the opportunity of carrying out a critique of the loud but misleading position taken by the state owned newspaper, Graphic Sports through its screaming banner headline story reading FINANCIAL DISASTER. My response has tended to sound the death knell of the core issue, to wit, whether or not Ghana’s participation in her maiden world cup was a financial disaster.

In a follow-up publication, the paper has rather taken issue with the Ghana Football Association and its leadership over a non core issue. Reading through my write-up, it became apparent on the face of it that Graphic Sports had concocted a strange headline and mischievously formed the opinion from nowhere that:

“The Ghana Football Association has reacted to concerns over the Black Stars World Cup accounts retorting that it is not obliged to present accounts to anybody”.

The question that should be asked is: From where did the Graphic Sports cook up that story? It is obviously not from my text. The paper, in its indecent haste to crucify the GFA, rather exposed its own mischief when it quoted my text. The quoted text had posed a rhetorical question as to whether or not the GFA was obliged to present accounts to anybody at all.

I answered the question in the affirmative and proceeded to catalogue the persons or bodies to whom our accounts are presentable. I did not ask whether the Association owed anybody accountability at all. The difference between the two statements is striking and crystal clear.

At this juncture, let me state that I, together with my colleagues on the Executive Committee of the Ghana Football Association, will always welcome constructive criticism from all well – meaning Ghanaians.

Having been entrusted with the responsibility of managing what has been popularly labeled “the passion of the nation”, it is absolutely critical that we encourage input from all passionate followers of the game in Ghana. What we will not entertain, however, is a clearly orchestrated campaign to bring the name of the GFA into disrepute or engage in any act that is intended to derail our train of visible progress.

Without equivocation, the Ghana Football Association is accountable. Our respect and adherence to the principles of transparency and accountability have been given elaborate expression in the GFA statutes. In the GFA Statutes, the Management of the Association is obliged to present annual audited accounts to congress at the end of every football season.

That responsibility can never been lost on anyone. Our football season was changed only last May to start from August to April. That has also informed the period over which accounts will now cover. We are aware that the interest in football transcends the frontiers of its legal constituents namely the Congress, the Government and the Sponsors.

The public certainly has a huge interest in the affairs of the GFA. That is how we owe the Government a duty of accountability. The Government is the epitome of public interest. Public policy and interest is represented in the Government.

In the run-up to formulating the new GFA statutes, one issue that came up during our discussions with Messrs. Blatter and Champagne (representing FIFA) and a combined team of the GFA and the Government (represented by Hon. O.B. Amoah, Prof. Kumado, Mr. Kofi Nsiah and Yours Truly) was the need to set up a public interest committee with membership drawn from the GFA and the Government. It was well understood that all public interest issues within the set up of the GFA will be well represented by the Government.

By posing the unwarranted headline – “GFA not accountable to public?” – The paper has only given practical meaning to the age-long English maxim that you “give a dog a bad name and hang it”. Otherwise how could anyone reach such a conclusion from my write-up when I never wrote that? It is certainly a figment of the paper’s own imagination and a case of intellectual dishonesty.

Without finding a basis for its stated agenda, the Graphic Sports story meandered into other issues that are peripheral to the issue of accountability. For instance, the paper quoted extensively from my write-up that national team matches are not commercial ventures. The paper was also worried that amidst the concerns over accounts, the GFA insists that it offered the least incentives to our players during the world cup. These are facts that are very much known to everyone. Having said that, what is their relevance to the GFA being or not being accountable?

I do not think it is necessary to re-write what had already been said about the sources of misinformation within the Executive Committee. While denying all the averments attributed to the discontentment or happiness of some members of the Executive Committee, it is important to seek official verification of your information and stop publishing rumours which are unbecoming of a state - owned newspaper. The over-reliance of the state - owned newspaper on rumours is a source of worry to many discerning readers.

The seeming contradictions in my write-up as pointed out by the newspaper only demonstrate the paper’s lack of appreciation of the issues. In every configuration of alphabetical nomenclature, there is what is called a leading statement and a subordinate statement. The two are never contradictory.

In 1985, the House of Lords, faced with the kind of confusion agitating the mind of the Graphic Sports newspaper had no difficulty in resolving two seeming contradictions in different phraseologies in the same statute.

The attempt by the Graphic Sports newspaper to discredit the GFA by subjecting it to unnecessary public ridicule, hatred and malice has fallen flat on its face. Any discerning reader will realize that I never said what was attributed to me. How then did the paper come to that conclusion? Mischief, mischief, mischief is the answer. We owe the public a statutory responsibility.

That responsibility is discharged by accounting to the Government. I have personally told the Executive Committee that we could even go the extra step by publishing our accounts, programmes and activities in our credible newspaper publication, the GFA News, and also in other publications that have displayed good balance and clear objectivity in their reportage on issues relating to the GFA. Other publications, including those with a ruined reputation, may reproduce it thereafter.

The Graphic Sports newspaper is so impervious to dissenting opinions and views that any time you criticize or disagree with a position postulated by the paper, woe betides you. You are labeled as being arrogant, offending, insulting, intolerant and so forth. Where is the intolerance and/or arrogance? I believe in healthy debate and the frank and honest exchange of views.

That is the only way to develop knowledge and grow ideas. For the uninformed, my belief and practice of modesty has ensured that arrogance has no place in my lexicography. Yet given the least opportunity, people who cannot argue with you start describing you with derogatory epithets and adjectives. It is just unfair.

I did state in my earlier write-up that we do not present accounts to the Executive Committee and Congress unless they are audited. I also indicated that our accounts had, since last October/November, been presented to the auditors. Wherein lies the delay in presenting our accounts?

We have to follow our laid down procedures in discharging our mandate. I find disingenuous suggestions that since the Germany 2006 World Cup, the LOC has submitted its accounts so we should have also submitted our accounts.

The two institutions are simply incomparable. The legal instruments setting them up are different. Their responsibilities are different and the environments in which they operate are also different.

The LOC was a special purpose vehicle whose mandate ended with the world cup whereas the GFA is a legal body with perpetual succession whose responsibility to render accounts is on an annual basis.

In any case why will the GFA deliberately delay the submission of its accounts to the relevant bodies? Whose interest will that delay serve? Certainly nobody’s! We will present our accounts as soon as they are duly audited by the certified auditors.