Congress: Reject AGF proposition

Published on: 18 July 2019

The proposal by the Normalisation Committee (NC) to change the name and logo of the Ghana Football Association GFA) to Association of Ghana Football (AGF) lends credence to the view that, the NC has had so much time on their  hands, dabbling in things that will add little or nothing to giving Ghana football a new face both in theory and practice.

I concede that there is something in a name. The kind of image a company has, impacts on its dealings with its clients. And while it is clear that, #12 wounded the reputation of specific GFA officials, the corruption video did not do irreparable damage to the association’s name and whatever image it had so as to warrant a change.

The operative word is irreparable. Was and has the GFA’s name and image been destroyed beyond repair? Whoever followed Ghana football in the 13 years that, Kwesi Nyantakyi resigned, would accept that, there were problems – problems with the perception of corruption, which were not dealt with sufficiently, culminating into strong allegations of abuse of office.

Anas and his investigators were in to ‘test’ referees for example, with money, and to find out whether or not, they would accept money to influence their decisions in matches. The referees accepted bribes. Under no duress, some of them narrated stories of how they have previously cheated clubs after being bribed.

Nyantakyi’s story in #12 is still too fresh for me to recount. He is at the Court of Arbitration for Sports contesting FIFA’s life ban on him from all football activities. Thus, I will not say #12 did not impair the reputation of our football. It must be stated, however, that, the damage to that reputation can be repaired but not through the changing of the GFA’s name and logo. The idea that misdeeds of the old administration soiled the clothes of our football, therefore, post #12, we cannot proceed with the name and logo of the GFA is flawed.

No damage has been done to our football and indeed Ghana’s revered name, which is comparable to the disgrace in the Black Stars camp at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. No disrespect but even after that international shame, it was a Commission of Inquiry that was set up. I will not veer into issues concerning the Commission’s recommendations and what has happened to it. I say, however, that, Congress of the GFA must reject the AGF proposition.

Naming the GFA as AGF will neither restore public confidence that has waned considerably in referees nor will it lift the low level of love most Ghanaians have for domestic football. The name and logo change will not ensure good pitches, increase players’ meagre salaries overnight and further bring spectators back to the stadium. Merely changing the GFA’s name and logo will not inspire the corporate world to put their money in our game, when we have, for instance, failed abysmally to stem hooliganism.

The change will not make the Black Stars win the next AFCON when we still handle the senior national team, the way we have done, unconscionably spending money on the team, and what is more, decline to make disclosures of their expenditure in a so-called era of transparency.  The cosmetic approach to solving problems in Ghana has to stop as it does not only show the incompetence of our leaders but also conceals the problems and eventually compound them.

I will wait for all that the NC has put forward to reform Ghana football but at this stage, the name and logo change of GFA should be flatly rejected. The new logo is not even nice. It looks like a creature from a morbid artist. The AGF and its logo must be thrown out by the GFA’s Congress. It is purposeless relative to matters undermining Ghana football presently.

Source: Jerome Otchere