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Ghana dissolves football association after cash gifts scandal

BBC Africa/Maximilian Kasseh,Jr.
Kwesi Nyantakyi ,Ghana Football Chief
Kwesi Nyantakyi ,Ghana Football Chief

ACCRA,GHANA-Ghana has dissolved its national football association after its president was filmed apparently accepting a "cash gift".

Kwesi Nyantakyi was pictured taking $65,000 (£48,000) from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman keen to invest in Ghanaian football.

Mr. Nyantakyi is vice-president of the Confederation of African Football and also a member of the Fifa Council.
He has not commented on the allegations.

How Fifa, football's world governing body, will react to the decision to dissolve the body remains to be seen. Its laws prevent government interference in football administration, and it has previously banned countries, including Nigeria, from international competition for falling foul of the rule.

Correspondents say the undercover investigation by controversial journalist Anas Aremayaw Anas has raised questions about the nature of football in Africa.

His documentary, entitled When Greed and Corruption Become the Norm, was handed to authorities last month and publicly screened for the first time on Wednesday.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Kwesi Nyantakyi was one of the officials highlighted in the film

Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, Ghana's information minister, said the government had "decided to take immediate steps to have the GFA (Ghana Football Association) dissolved", citing the "widespread nature of the apparent rot".

He said interim measures to govern Ghanaian football would be announced soon, pending the formation of a new association.
The GFA said in a statement that it would co-operate with any investigation.

Since taking charge of the GFA, Mr. Nyantakyi has made tackling corruption a major part of his message.

However, the undercover film shows him apparently placing the $65,000 "shopping money" into a black plastic bag.
BBC Africa's new investigations unit, Africa Eye, has had exclusive access to the footage.

An undercover reporter was pretending to be a businessman from a Middle Eastern company wanting to invest in Ghanaian football.

The filmmaker's team had invited Mr. Nyantakyi to a luxury hotel in the Middle East with the promise of a meeting with a wealthy businessman interested in a sponsorship deal with the GFA.

Mr. Nyantakyi went on to both negotiate and write up the sponsorship deal on behalf of the GFA, which could have allowed a cut to go to a company he owned.

Correspondents say that had the fictitious deal gone ahead, he could potentially have made $4.5m from the diversion of funds

 


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