GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi on Wednesday may have ‘sold’ the sovereignty of Ghana for $12 million to Anas’ investigators but he’s not alone in the name and shame explosive from the investigative documentary released by ace journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
There are some influential football leaders from other African countries including Kenya who were captured manipulating football matches across the continent in the Number 12 piece which began premiering June 6th, 2018.
Wednesday’s premiere of Anas’ exposé dubbed Number 12 focused more on Ghana, exclusively focusing on referees, officials of the National Sports Authority (NSA) and the Ghana Football Association(GFA).
“Number 12: when misconduct and greed become the norm”, has been the subject of discussion over the past weeks and the much-anticipated video has shed more light on corruption in West Africa, narrowing down to football.
Corruption in football has been a mere speculation for many years until the release of Number 12 by Anas. Previously, the FA president had brushed aside allegations of corruption with sincerity when such criticisms are leveled against key football officials and referees but the release of the the Number 12 investigative piece has proven otherwise. There’s corruption in African Football!
The exposé video began with the sad accounts of the May 9 disaster in which over 120 lives were lost as a result of crowd violence in an Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko game in 2001 where at the heart of the violence was a controversial decision taken by the referee to accept a goal which the Kotoko fans deemed to be an offside goal.
President Nyantakyi in the latest documentary said ‘sold’ his integrity, that of the president of the Repubic and his vice, the roads minister and his deputy for $5 million, $3 million, $2million and $1 million respectively for nonexistent contracts which were to be awarded to the supposed investor, who unknown to Nyantakyi, was an undercover journalist with the TigerEye PI.
The potentially explosive documentary by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas is alleged to have captured 77 Ghanaian referees and 14 Ghana Football Association (GFA) officials for engaging in acts of corruption. However, Executive Committee Members of the GFA, Kweku Eyiah and John Frederick (JF) Mensah are celebrated for their honesty as a result of rejecting bribes in the latest documentary.
The two men stood up against being bribed in the exposé titled – #Number 12.
Dally Gabga, Limann Nuhu Alhassan were all captured taking bribes from the TigerEye PI undercover investigators and in some cases, their decisions were contrary to the pledges they made before they took the bribes captured without their knowledge on camera.
Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan’s name popped up in Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ #Number12. Gyan was fingered when the vice chairman of the Player Status Committee of the Ghana Football Association, Kofi Manu boasted that in the early stages of Asamoah’s career, he Manu assisted him to get playing time.
Manu, known popularly in football circles as Blue Blue claimed that he helped Gyan’s father to get his sons playing time in the national team. He told Anas’ undercover journalists posing as fixers that he assisted Gyan and his senior brother Baffour Gyan to play games for the national team when he was approached by their father.
This revelation came at a point in the documentary when the purported match-fixers asked him to assist a Ghanaian player to get a national team call-up. Initially, he rejected the bribes offered but later accepted another sum of money as appreciation for his efforts.
Women in recent years are viciously campaigning for equal rights, but least did we know they needed the rights to equal-corruption as well. The tactics displayed by the woman referee in the video was quite intriguing when she actually said her package (Gh¢300) should be handed over to a little girl and brought to her in her changing room in order not to raise suspicions. When it arrived, she took it wrapped in a black polythene.
Another shocking revelation was when the suspended National Sports Authority boss Robert Safo Mensah who pleaded his innocence during the visa racketeering scandal was captured in the video taking Gh¢5,000 to get a player unto the national teams. Some of his officers were also caught on tape taking bribes to facilitate trips abroad. The ministry of sports was not left out. Some protocol officers also fell for the Anas bait.
GFA Code of Ethics says: “Officials may not accept bribes; in other words, any gifts or other advantages that are offered, promised or sent to them to incite breach of duty or dishonest conduct for the benefit of a third party shall be refused,”Article 14, but it appears almost all the top and low ranked referees breached this code.
Kenyan referee Aden Range Marwa has already lost his place as a match official for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after falling for the Anas bait. In the investigative documentary, Mr Range was captured accepting a $600 bribe to determine the outcome a Kenyan Premier League game.
With only eight days to the start of the FIFA World Cup, Marwa has withdrawn from officiating games. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the past. His latest assignment was to see him officiate games as a linesman at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Marwa was the only Kenyan and one of only two East Africans selected by world football governing body FIFA as part of a 16-man contingent of African referees for the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Gambia’s Ebrima Jallow took $500 and seem to imply this kind of activity is common in the international games.
“The way you do it, it’s happening everywhere,” “I told him in the morning, it’s not a matter of bribery or the way I take it, trying to bribe me or trying to bribe the referees is not important.”
“What is important there is the relationship,” Jallow said while accepting the cash for a Ghana and Mali match.
Meanwhile Jallow has also told the BBC in an interview that he had never been given any money to fix a match, denying any wrongdoing.
More than 100 African football officials including CAF Vice President Kwesi Nyantakyi, Ebrima Jallo of Gambia were captured in the documentary receiving bribes in apparent violation of FIFA rules.
In a latest attempt of a cover-up for members caught in alleged acts of corruption as exposed by Anas, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has asked Tiger Eye PI, the investigative agency of journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas to provide them with a copy of his #Number12 documentary which exposes alleged acts of corruption in Ghana football.
President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, have also vehemently denied ever discussing contract deals with Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).