World Football governing body, FIFA, has banned former President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi from all football-related activities for life.
A statement on Fifa’s website announcing the ban said “The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has banned Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.”
“The adjudicatory chamber found Mr Nyantakyi guilty of having violated art. 19 (Conflicts of interest), art. 21 (Bribery and corruption) and art. 22 (Commission) of the FIFA Code of Ethics, 2012 edition. As a consequence, Mr Nyantakyi is banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level. Additionally, a fine in the amount of CHF 500,000 has been imposed on Mr. Nyantakyi.”
The statement said Mr. Nyantakyi had been notified of the ban, and that it comes into force immediately.
Mr. Nyantakyi was first handed a 90-day provisional ban in June 2018, after the showing of a video and audio evidence of allegations of corruption leveled against Mr. Nyantakyi by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, in his piece titled, Number 12.
The suspension was further extended by ninety days in September 2018, before the announcement of the lifetime ban on October 30, 2018.
The credibility of the Ghana Football Association, which manages all national football activities in the country has been dented by Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ investigative film which exposes massive rot and corruption in local football.
Anas and Tigereye PI petition to Fifa
On Wednesday, June 6, the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee received a complaint and request from journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas through Cromwell Gray LLP, to commence investigations into the conduct of Kwesi Nyantakyi based on the content of the journalists’ latest investigative film titled ‘Number12’.
The piece captured Kwesi Nyantakyi in a compromised position. He was filmed supposedly taking $65,000 (£48,000) from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman.
The video among other things captured top officials of the football association including its President, Nyantakyi taking bribes to influence the invitation of players to the national team, influencing the duration of playing time offered to some players and influencing the selection of unfit players and referees to participate in games.
Also, more than 100 referees were caught on tape taking bribes to manipulate the outcome of games in a team’s favour.
Following the first screening of the video which attracted more than 3,000 persons, many called for a complete dissolution of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and immediate resignation of its embattled president, Kwesi Nyantakyi.
Kwesi Nyantakyi, who was also the first Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) eventually resigned from all football-related positions few days after the video was aired.
Then the suspension from Fifa followed.
At a point, he was investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service after President Akufo-Addo filed a complaint when he watched excerpts of Anas’ video, in which the former FA President was using his name to lure foreign investors.
Ghana gets FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee
Following the eventual halt of football activities in Ghana after the corruption exposé, the government of Ghana attempted to dissolve the FA using the courts, but faced stiff opposition from members of the FA.
Eventually, government and the FA came to an agreement to allow Fifa, to mediate in the matter. Fifa in the end, set up a Normalization Committee for the country in September 2018, which has been given a period of six months to sort out the issues and restore Ghana football to normalcy.
What becomes of Nyantakyi’s suits against Anas?
In the latter part of September 2018, Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi sued undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
That suit was the second time Mr. Nyantakyi was suing Anas and his Tigereye PI firm. The earlier suit also at a High Court, was specifically about defamation.
Nyantakyi wants the High Court to declare that Anas’ secret recording of their conversations as well as publishing same, violates his [Nyantakyi’s] “fundamental human rights to privacy and confidentiality in my dealings with others.”
He wants the court to also declare that the recordings violated his “right to dignity” because he wasn’t consulted before the piece was premiered, and thus prayed the apex court to award damages against Anas and his Tigereye PI firm for the said violations.
It is now unclear what becomes of Mr. Nyantakyi’s suits, considering the turn of events.
Anas Exposé: 61 referees banned by Referees Association after investigations
The Referees Association of Ghana also in September 2018, handed out bans to 61 referees captured in the Anas Aremeyaw Anas exposé.
After the airing of the documentary, a 5-member committee was set up to look into the conduct of the 75 referees mentioned. After their work, they recommended certain punishments and the recommendations have been implemented by the association.
61 referees were found guilty per committee’s work, and they were punished as follows: 53 were given 10-year bans, 8 referees were given lifetime bans, and 14 referees were exonerated completely.
CAF suspends 11 referees, bans 11 others over Anas video
The Confederation of African Football (CAF), also suspended eleven (11) referees who were caught on the video allegedly taking monies to fix matches.
Eleven (11) others were also handed bans ranging from two to ten years, whereas others were also banned for life.