From Messi’s messy transfer saga to Fifa pulling the big boy tag to stop some members of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) from ripping apart 51 portions of the association’s statutes and Nana Addo’s waiting game.
Here are my pick of the biggest sports happenings from the last seven days.
Mr. Barca vs FC Barcelona
Current events do not do justice to ten La Liga tittles, four Champions Leagues and the record six Ballons d’Or Lionel Messi has delivered during his years at the Camp Nou.
By now it’s clear that the Argentine actually wants to leave. Truth is the writings have been on the wall for a while now but just like me and many others, those in charge at Barca simply couldn’t see it.
Many point to that 8-2 drubbing at the hands of Bayern but the sacking of Ernesto Valverde and Messi’s open expression of disappointment, questions over whether the Bartomeu led board had done enough to bring back Neymar, his response to Eric Abidal’s open criticism of players and the clear barb at top figures within the club when confirming players had taken a 70% pay cut at the height of COVID-19 are weightier matters which have culminated in the current stand-off.
What has become clear in all of this is that Messi’s power extends beyond the club. He’s the force that drives the La Liga. How else can you explain the league organiser’s desperate statement which essentially supported Barcelona in their claim in respect of the interpretation of Messi’s exit clause? In Lionel Messi, Barcelona and La Liga’s fortunes are tied. Such has been the dependence on Messi his departure will have dire ramifications for Spanish football.
The bone of contention can be summarised in one simple question- when did the season end? Whatever the answer is and however things pan out, this has been one massive MESS.
Who say Man no dey?
In two days, Ghana Football will meet to deliberate all matters Ghana football in what they call an ordinary congress. What is ordinary about members proposing 51 changes to the association’s statutes.
Interestingly, the GFA referred those proposals to Fifa for advice but didn’t do same with proposals to increase allowances for the president, his vice and other executives by a whopping 300% from what was earned by the previous administration.
If 51 articles and clauses in the GFA statutes require amendments because “it is not truly representative of their interests and the interest of football in the country” then the entire document needs to be looked at. Pardon me if I sound surprised because the truth is that I’m not.
I expected this and anyone who followed the final events of the normalization wouldn’t be too. Members raised several issues with the committee’s work in respect of the review of the GFA statutes, which was a stated mandate by Fifa.
It, however, appears that there was a silent agreement to allow the committee have its way so long as control of Ghana football returned to the hands of the so-called football people.
One would have thought that all members would have been for the proposed changes but that appears not to be the case. The members who proposed the changes challenged that the GFA had no business going to Fifa but that move had already been made by the executive council.
When Fifa responded it was a case of ‘you’re not satisfied with your laws but we’re fine with it because it is consistent with ours. And just like that…case die.
Who say man no dey?
Akufo-Addo No Show
170 days later, football match venues in Ghana remain closed. With bated breath, Ghanaian football fans waited for Nana Akufo-Addo to deliver good news with the GFA’s earlier hint of October as a possible restart date for the Ghana Premier League. It ended in tears.
None perhaps echoed the disappointment of Ghana football than Hearts of Oak goalie Richard Attah. The goalkeeper posted on Facebook Where did we go wrong…No football sen? The crying emoji’s made it even more heartbreaking. Attah had earned a maiden call up to the Black Stars when everything came to a halt so it’s understandable the pain he’s feeling.
Beyond the obvious financial implication for clubs and other stakeholders is the fact that Ghanaians miss football. For such a football crazy nation, it’s a wonder how we’ve survived 24 weeks without the beautiful but what can you do in the phase of a pandemic as deadly as covid?
His Excellency answered the question on Sunday night-Football can wait.