Ironically, ever since the clueless Minister of Youth & Sports Mr. Ayariga made his infamous statement that “Ghana is ready to host the AFCON 2015” despite the menacing threat of Ebola virus, the Nyantakyi-led Ghana FA has been conspicuously silent. As we have witnessed so far, many well-intentioned Ghanaians have come out swinging against the idea by the sports minister that Ghana is supposedly “ready to host the AFCON 2015.” In the midst of all these passionate but legitimate debates as to whether or not Ghana should host the AFCON’15 in the event of Morocco’s withdrawal, the main soccer organizing body in country—GFA—is missing in these crucial discussions.
The critical question here is why not GFA, as opposed to the sports minister, in the frontlines conveying to Ghanaians about the nation’s logistical readiness or otherwise to be the last-minute hosts of the AFCON’15? In fact, in a similar letter from the disgruntled CAF to the South African sports officials regarding hosting the AFCON’15 in case Morocco reneges in its bid, the South Africa Football Association (SAFA), which is GFA’s co-equal, took charge in responding promptly to the CAF about that nation’s inability to host in this Ebolan era. Remember, in any well-organized soccer nation, it is the football association such as the GFA that organizes all the country’s major soccer tournaments. That is why, for instance, the Black Stars’ jerseys have the GFA’s logo and not the Ministry of Youth & Sports’ seal.
Once again, why can’t GFA be in the forefront like the SAFA? In South Africa, the head of SAFA, Danny Jordaan, was unambiguous and coherent vis-à-vis his country’s rejection of narcissistic CAF’s request. Sure, Ghana is not South Africa because the latter’s sports is more sophisticated and well-structured than the former. Nonetheless, if the claim that Ghana is “logistically and infrastructure-wise” ready (ref: Super Morning Show on Joy FM, October 21, 2014) to host the AFCON’15 at the moment’s notice, why not GFA relaying that information to Ghanaians?
Curiously, why GFA seems to be hiding behind the incoherent sports minister to carry out its cardinal responsibility in matters of major soccer events such as African Cup of Nations? We know that all countries’ sports ministries and their FAs collaborate on issues pertaining to soccer organization and development. But when all the chips are down it’s the FAs that are the main faces and the information bureaus of the nations’ soccer organizing entities.
Hence, it is unusual that the often talkative and argumentative GFA is not talking at this time and missing in action as many Ghanaians at home and abroad are making their displeasure and opposition to hosting the AFCON’15 games known. Could it be that the Nyantakyi-led GFA is being manipulated and remote-controlled by Mr. Ayariga’s department or vice versa? Put in another context, it is an open secret that one or many of the current GFA officials are aspiring to become the “top-dog” of the CAF should dictator Issa Hayatou leave the scene (only heaven knows when).
If that is the ambition out there then more likely Mr. Nyantakyi and his GFA show-boys will not risk saying anything to appear unhelpful during the CAF’s make-believe time of need. In other words, there need to be some form of quids pro quo at this juncture; or, let’s call it butt-kissing, as Americans would say. Kissing the CAF’s funky boots is exactly what the nation’s premier soccer body (GFA) is doing by remaining silent as to whether or not it’s right at this time to host AFCON’15.
In fact, it is normal for human beings to have ambitions in facets of their endeavors, but pursuing those ambitions at the expense of the overall public good raises some ethical questions. Many concerned Ghanaians, including the nation’s leading health institutions, expect GFA to come out from hiding and take a firm stand against AFCON’15 in the face of Ebola. The SAFA has done the right thing for its people; but, GFA is MIA as the debates rage on because of what…? As the good old Shakespeare once opined, there comes a time in human life in which “good reasons must of force gives way to the better ones.”
Personal ambitions or individual fame must not be allowed to cloud our sense of morality. CAF’s decision-makers, if they have any modicum of altruism, would have suspended all soccer activities in Africa till the Ebola disease is downgraded from epidemic level. Ghanaians are waiting to hear from Mr. Nyantakyi and his cohorts at GFA about their position of the CAF’s enticing but ill-timed offer.
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