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Nyantakyi to sue for defamation

Kwesi Nyantakyi Pink
President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi says he may be forced to drag some media personnel and media houses to court for defamation if the vicious attacks on his personality do not stop.

Speaking at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry set up to look into Ghana’s participation at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, President Nyantakyi claimed his ability to welcome dissenting views is unquestionable, but added that he is becoming fed up with the blatant propaganda by some journalists to drag his name in the mud.

“My Lord, I am somebody who welcomes dissenting views and criticism. Those who know me will tell you that I don’t hold personal grudges against those who criticise me. But when it becomes a daily ritual for people to attack you and call you all sorts of names, then it is not proper. My Lord, very soon you will hear that I have dragged someone to court for defamation because it is becoming too much,” Nyantakyi said.

The President of the GFA spent three eventful days at the Commission - from Tuesday, September 30 to Thursday, October 2, 2014 - where he had to answer questions regarding the financing of the various national football teams, the state of the country’s football infrastructure, among other things.

The highlight of his appearance before the Commission of Inquiry had to do with questions regarding how much management members/ staff of the GFA earn at major tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup.

Nyantakyi explained that the honorarium for management is shared by all people the emergency committee deems to have played a part in the success of the team.

Nyantakyi clarified to the Commission that the money given to management is different from the appearance fees given to players and technical team.

“The management does not include everyone working at the secretariat but those who have played direct roles in the success of the team. The honorarium cuts across all the national teams from Black Stars to the Under-17, both male and female, and it is the same practice. The reference to the number seven is just a coefficient used to multiply the money. People who are management are not limited to the management committee and that is why the budget says ‘management,’" the GFA President told the Commission.

“This has been the practice; indeed, in 2010 we were called to EOCO to answer the same questions and it is from there that the current operational arrangements came up. Before 2010, only the secretary signed for it, but when we went to EOCO they raised issues about why there was no authority from the Executive Committee and that is why I now had to authorise the payment.”

He corroborated what former Minister of Sports, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, who was in charge of the drafting of the Budget. He told the Commission that the money given to the management was a lump sum which was shared by over 20 people as the practice has been since 2006.

“When we go to a tournament, we don’t go with a management committee. Mr Fred Crentsil was there but he wasn’t a member of the management committee; he was there as the Vice-President of the GFA. The state knew that the money was not only for the management committee. In 2010 and 2006, I wasn’t part of Management Committee, but I was head of delegation.”

The GFA President gave the Commission a background into the adoption of the management honorariums.

“In 2006, the FA made a representation to government that government reviews the various categories of performers with the view of reviewing the compensation process because we thought that management also played a role and brought to bear certain competencies that enhanced the team and also helped the team succeed. This argument found favour with the then government. It found expression in the various approvals communicated to the Ministry of Finance.

When players take appearance fees, it is called management honorarium. The understanding is that if it is called bonus, then it would be thought that they are taking part of the game. All payments made to management is called management honorarium in recognition of the services rendered. This does not refer to the Management Committee but the whole management team, which includes the committee, the secretariat and any other person who are deemed to have played a role,” he said.

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