Ghana accepts FIFA’s directives, Dalung insists on rule of law

FIFA president Gianni Infantino looks on as he leaves the San Nicola stadium in Bari on September 2, 2016, after a press conference about the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), tested for the first time the day before during the friendly football match Italy vs France. Video refereeing was trialled for the first time in an international match, during the friendly between Italy and France on September 1 in Bari. An extra assistant referee on the sidelines was able to communicate with the on-pitch referee during the game. The tests have the support of the IFAB, the body who govern the rules of the game. Video tests have been ongoing in the third tier of the United States since July. / AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI

Ghana yesterday accepted FIFA’s directive to stop the winding up of its Football Association as directed by the world football governing body.

But Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung insists the country must follow the dictates of its law.

FIFA on Tuesday threatened to ban Ghana and Nigeria from international football unless both governments stopped interfering in the administration of the game in their countries.

Yesterday, FIFA announced that the Ghanaian government had pledged to stop the process to wind up the country’s football association (GFA) over corruption allegations.
FIFA said yesterday that it had agreed to work with Ghana “to offer leadership in reforming football administration in Ghana and in Africa.”

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It added in a statement that it would also work with the Ghanaian government “to eradicate corruption and malfeasance and other associated criminal conduct from the administration of football in Ghana

FIFA added that both sides will set up a “normalisation committee” to administer football in the country as well as a task force to create disciplinary, governance and auditing mechanisms.

“Satisfied with the above measures, the Ghanaian government shall take steps to discontinue the process for the winding up of the Ghana Football Association.”

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Although there was no official response from the Ghanaian government on the outcome of yesterday’s meeting with FIFA, sources in the government said everything went well.

FIFA suspended Ghana FA (GFA) boss, Kwesi Nyantakyi when he was filmed by an undercover journalist in a hotel room apparently receiving a $65,000 bribe from a supposed businessman seeking to sponsor the Ghanaian football league.

In June, the government began a process to wind up the GFA and police locked down the GFA offices, declaring the building a crime scene.

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Despite having suspended Nyantakyi, FIFA did not accept third party interference in its member federations and had therefore threatened to ban the GFA over the government’s action.

The same measures were threatened on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) following what appears a government sponsored bid to remove the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, from office.

In a bid to avoid sanctions on the country, Nigeria’s Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo met with Pinnick and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung on the lingering crisis in the country’s football on Wednesday.

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Reports said Osinbajo directed Dalung to avoid anything that would incur FIFA’s wrath on Nigeria, but the minister has come out to say the acting president never gave such orders.

In a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday, Dalung denied reports that Osinbajo has ‘stamped’ the Pinnick- led NFF board following FIFA’s threat to ban Nigeria indefinitely from its activities on Monday August 20, 2018.

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