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Fifa warns Ghana over government interference

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Fifa warns Ghana that interference in the sport could lead to sanctions

Fifa has warned the Ghana government that future interference in the administration of the game in the country could lead to sanctions.

The governing body is disappointed that Ghana football, which is seen by many as a good example for other countries, is reeling under government pressure.

Fifa made these conclusions after investigating claims of intrusion.

Under Fifa rules, national football associations must not be subject to government control.

But the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has recently come under intense pressure from government over various issues.

The government withdrew its order to impose Abedi Pele as a candidate for a vacant Caf post after the GFA rejected the request two weeks ago.

Even though Fifa is pleased that sanity has been restored, the governing body warns that future attempts could have serious consequences.

Ghana is a shining example for Africa and for the world in this aspect. It would be a real pity if these efforts were thwarted by misunderstanding from the government

Jerome Valcke

"We appreciate the fact that the government has now realized that it was not competent to nominate candidates for elective functions within the football organisation structure," Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke wrote in letter seen by the BBC.

"However we would like to draw the attention of the government to the fact that the GFA must manage its affairs independently with no influence from third parties at stated in Fifa statutes.

"Violations of such provisions might lead to sanctions as stated in Fifa Statues Article 17.13."

Even though government has taken full control over the money its spends on the national teams, attempts have been made by the Serious Fraud Office to probe payments the GFA receives from Fifa, other international bodies and sponsors.

Fifa insists that the government must stay away from auditing the GFA's accounts in respect to money received from sources other than government.

"The government of Ghana could audit the GFA accounts related to the attribution of government funds," the Fifa scribe said in the statement.

"This of course excludes the funds coming from other sources such as Fifa, Caf or corporate sponsors."

Ghana football has soared over the past few years under Kwesi Nyantakyi's reign culminating in two successful World Cup appearances in 2006 and 2010.

The Black Satellites gained rave reviews last year after it became the first African side to win the U20 World Cup in Egypt.

Fifa fears that attempts by government elements to interfere in the administration of the sport in the country could undermine Ghana progress in world football.

"GFA has been achieving outstanding results during the past few years on the continental and world football scene for both it's a team as well as for its youth teams," Fifa said.

"This is testimony of the great work the GFA has been carrying out in favour of football development.

"Ghana is a shining example for Africa and for the world in this aspect. It would be a real pity if these efforts were thwarted by misunderstanding from the government."

Despite these concerns Fifa insists the GFA must establish a good relationship with the government for football to continue to thrive in Ghana.

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see also
Zambian FA crisis deepens further
26 Nov 10 |  African
Fifa warns Zambian government
18 Oct 10 |  African
Ghana FA rejects request on Abedi
11 Nov 10 |  African
Ghana risk Fifa ban over Caf post
11 Nov 10 |  African
Zambian FA crisis deepens
14 Oct 10 |  African
Zambia risk Fifa ban over enquiry
05 Oct 10 |  African
Zambia FA rocked by resignations
30 Sep 10 |  African
Bwalya is elected Zambia FA boss
30 Mar 08 |  African

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