The President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) says his calls for members to reject those who tarnish the image of the Association publicly is not an attempt to gag critics.
Kurt Okraku in a 28-minute speech to congress on Tuesday admonished members of the football fraternity to “reject” those who speak ill of his leadership and the management of football.
“Despite the hard work done by the GFA, a few of us do not think about this family; there are a few of us, who perhaps only think about their personal interest; there are still a few of us who do not think about the total good of our football,” an emotional Okraku noted.
“There are a few of us who continuously go out of this family and go out to the public space to malign your product, my product, your business. We must reject these people,” he said.
His calls have been described by many as an attempt to suppress varied opinions about his leadership, but he insists it is an appeal, and not one to gag his colleagues.
“I am not trying to gag my colleagues both in football and in the media. What I have said is that lets always at all times think Ghana football,” he stated.
The football community has always been described as a family by members. Kurt believes as family members, their disagreements should not be in the public domain.
“We are one family,” the fomer Dreams FC Executive Chairman noted.
“We may be different in opinions on how we think the game must be administered but at the end, we are the same people who have given an opportunity to some of us to lead the family.
“Yes, we may have divergent views, but we have good platforms that we can share our divergent views — a typical example is the congress of the football association.
“All I am saying is that, let’s keep to our divergent views but let’s hold on to occasions like this [congress] where as a group, we come together and dissect our football business and speak about issues that affect us in common and find very good solutions to our problems. We shouldn’t resolve to the public space,” he stated.
The Ghana FA is going through trying times as it brand has suffered a lot of damage.
In 2018, Tiger Eye PI released a documentary on alleged match-fixing and corruption in Ghana football where about 77 referees were caught on tape accepting inducements to influence the outcome of matches.
Other officials of the FA were also on tape in compromising positions.
Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo described members of the FA as ‘rogues’ when she appeared before Accra High court in 2018 seeking for an order to liquidate the FA.
These turbulent times maimed the image of the industry and it would only take collective positivity to win public confidence in football.
“Building a product is not easy,” the 48-year-old said.
He continued, “We will go through challenges, but when we believe that ultimately we want to position Ghana football in a certain light, we will always be positive.”
The football season was gaining momentum until the outbreak of the Covid-19 forced the cancellation of the season after three months.
Mr Okraku believes the game reached its crescendo because of the forward-looking atmosphere surrounding the competitions. He is optimistic, the football will be better in the next three years.
“At the beginning of the season when we were very positive, it affected every facet of our football; attendances started to come up, media became more interested, corporate Ghana began to show interest, and boom we had the COVID.
“I am very positive about the future, I think that we have a very good team at the [Executive] council level, gradually, we are building the capacity at the administrative level at the secretariat, across the regions and I believe that within the next three years, the Ghanaian football industry would be very strong.”
GFA has tentatively scheduled the second week of October for the resumption of a new football season.