How Ghana government achieved their long searched ambitions despite agreeing to Fifa’s normalization committee

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Following the latest meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, on Thursday August 16, 2018, Ghana government has now reached an enviable agreement with the world football’s governing body and calm has been restored.

However, in the end, the West African country’s authorities have achieved their aims despite using a somehow radical approach, since all what they wanted to is to dissolve the highest making body of the football association and begin reforms for a new era without the executive committee.

BREAK DOWN OF THE FIFA DECISION

The Government of Ghana through The Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, went to court with a firm plan to liquidate the GFA because, according to her, the Association in its current state is not fit for the purpose for which it was established.

In her argument before the court, the A-G said the GFA was being used for illegal purposes (citing Anas Expose and Dzamefe Commission as evidence), hence the government’s decision to protect the interest of the public.

WHY DID THE GOVERNMENT WANT TO LIQUIDATE THE GFA?

Based on the A-Gs proposition in court, government wanted all the current leadership out and allow the Registrar General as the legal liquidator to take over the GFA.

Government was well aware that, after the GFA President and some Exco members were caught in the Expose, the remaining members of the Executive Committee would be in charge of the GFA.

This, government DID NOT WANT. The remaining Executive Committee Members were ready to take charge because they had a mandate.

Was there a way for government to STOP them?

Answer is a BIG NO.

Was FIFA going to simply remove the Exco because Government doesn’t want them? BIG NO.

How then could Government remove them? By LIQUIDATING/DISSOLVING the entire association to bring the GFA’s existence to an end.

Was it the right approach? NO. Was there any approach to remove innocent Exco members because government doesn’t want them? NO.

FIFA threaten Ghana with ban UNLESS Ghana withdraws liquidation process. Was Government ready for a ban (honestly) NO.

How does government escape ban? Diplomacy. As cited in the Ghana Government response to FIFA on the 15th of August 2018 item 6;

“Government of Ghana is desirous for a further engagement with Fifa at their earliest convenience to reach a mutually accepted route to achieving our common goal,”

By this, the GoG tries to convince FIFA to grant us our wish through anyway. REMOVE the current Exco!

Would FIFA agrree to this condition under normal circumstances? NO.

But….

FIFA agrees to DISSOLVE the Executive Committee by triggering ARTICLE 8.2 which states that;

“Executive bodies of member associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from office by the Council in consultation with the relevant confederation and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specific period
of time”.

WHY DID FIFA AGREE TO DISSOLVE THE EXCO?

The Government of Ghana Delegation may have made a very strong case. In a more Diplomatic sense, FIFA was lefty with no option but to grant the GoG wish.

But who are the Executive Committte?

The GFA Statutes ARTICLE 33.1 describes the EXCO as the body having the AUTHORITY to;

“Manage the affairs of the Ghana Football Association”.

Before the GFA takes critical decisions, Congress needs to convene. Which body convenes Congress? The same EXCO as stated in ARTICLE 33.4 and as follows;

“To prepare and convene the ordinary and where appropriate an extra- ordinary Congress”.

Essentially, the GFA functions through the Executive Committee. By removing the EXCO and replacing it with Normalisation Committee, FIFA has professionally dissolved GFA on behalf of government.

Albeit in a more diplomatic manner that doesn’t conflict FIFA statutes and Government Interference Codes.

This also saves the ordinary football fan and clubs the complexities that may have arisen from the legal liquidation of the GFA.

Government of Ghana’s whole liquidation idea was for two main reasons…1. To change how the FA is registered
2.To remove the Executive Committee to see reforms in football

WHAT WILL THE NORMALIZATION COMMITTEE DO

The normalisation committee is charged with:

1. Running the daily affairs of the football association

2. Drafting new statutes that fulfill the requirements of FIFA statutes as well as the national law.

3. Review the statutes of regional federations and the domestic league competition to ensure their alignment

4. Identifying the representative bodies to form the Congress, as well as in regional federations,
5. and conducting elections to form a new Board.

WHO WILL BE ON THE COMMITTEE?

As stated in the FIFA Release, FIFA will consult Ghana Government and CAF. Membership is normally a mix of people with experience in football, politics, government and the commercial sector. Who wins now? ……. GHANA FOOTBALL.

By: Saddick Adams

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