Many of my readers would find the following statement of mine that: I am absolutely not surprised by the 15-point list of infractions contained in the petition delivered to the Ethics Committee of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), by Mr. Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger-Eye PI team of private investigators, and find the same to be patently pedestrian, to be one of acute insensitivity to the state of rank corruption in sports administration in the country . I long ago lost my proverbial innocence on questions of justice or injustice in the wake of the so-called Rawlings Revolutions, respectively, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council’s open season of ethnically oriented executions, in 1979, and the catastrophic reemergence of the Rawlings-led Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) junta that primitively and wantonly cannibalized Ghana’s political landscape from December 31, 1981 to January 1992.
Since then, I have come to the sobering realization and conclusion that Ghana is a veritable jungle that operates recklessly along the Darwinian lines of “Survival of the Fittest,” and that in our time the “fittest” are the cutthroat, gunslinging and blood-bathing minions and operatives of the Rawlings-founded and chaperoned National Democratic Congress (NDC). I also find the alleged shenanigans and extortions schemes leveled against Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi, the former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), to be strikingly akin to the series of scandals that rocked some of the executive committee members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sometime ago in Salt Lake City, Utah, right here in the United States. In his petition, Mr. Anas – or rather his attorneys? – cites the case of one Mr. Amos Adamu as a classical case in point and legal precedent that ought to be studiously followed and/or emulated by the FIFA investigators. The latter case, from what I gleaned from the petition, occurred in Nigeria and involved the Nigerian Football Association or Authority, I forget which. I would also be interested to know whether any meaningful changes in football administration in Nigeria resulted from the Amos Adamu Case.
Presently, though, what I am a bit worried about is the relentless crusading and sharp-edged vindictive tone of the Anas petition, which gives the unmistakable impression that the petitioner has far more on his mind than simply exposing a perennial culture of rank corruption and wanton abuse of power and a criminal conflict of interest. Well, the petitioner does not use the word “criminal” as such, but it is ineluctably implied, nonetheless. But calling for a FIFA ban for life to be imposed on Mr. Nyantakyi, the recently resigned and temporarily banned GFA President, is a rather unsavory attempt to second-guess the members of FIFA’s Ethics Committee. I am also unflappably convinced that short of the recruitment of some critters from outer space or another planet to fill up vacancies on a completely overhauled or thoroughly reconstituted GFA and, indeed, the massive deportation of all Ghanaian citizens and their immediate replacement by citizens of another planet, absolutely no change is bound to happen in the arena of soccer administration and/or culture in the country.
You see, as long as the laws on our books, as it were, are not rigidly and conscientiously and impartially enforced, there can be absolutely no serious talk about a thorough clean up of soccer administration in the country. Ironically, it is historically the most corrupt citizens and people who tend to be the most vociferous moralists when it comes to any talk of ridding our society of rank corruption. A patent case of the cats being put in charge of the mice. Or rather, of the cockroaches being put in charge of papers, as Master Quansah, my Akuapem-Akropong Presbyterian Middle Boys’ Boarding School (Akropong Salem) Headteacher, used to say, even when he more strikingly resembled the roaches that he was talking about than his prime targets of verbal abuse, and oftentimes corporal punishment, that is us, his vulnerable pupils.
Which, of course, is absolutely in no way to imply that the punitive removal of the former GFA President was without any redeeming aspects, either within the short or long-term administration of the sport. We all witnessed how Chairman Jerry John Rawlings emerged on our national political landscape and the deafening fanfare of accolades, including “Junior Jesus,” that greeted and followed him, and welcomed him as well. Tell me, Dear Reader, would it not be a gross and inexcusable understatement to say that today, the most corrupt group of Ghanaian politicians and citizens are the vintage products of the Rawlings Revolution? It will boil up for quite an evanescent while; and then it will simmer down and turn ice-cold, just when everybody thought we had finally arrived in the Biblical Promised Land of Canaan.
Well, this is Ghana for you, Dear Reader. Does our country look any radically different from other soccer-playing nations around the globe? Go figure!
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