This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Soweto after the team’s loss in the World Cup quarter-finals; former

Football Association Kwesi Nyantakyi

President of the Ghanaian

Clockwise from far left: Striker Asamoah Gyan greets supporters in

national coach Milovan Rajevac in action;

Looking to the future With nearly 30 years going by without winning a Nations Cup title, the 2012 tournament, jointly hosted by Gabon & Equatorial Guinea, is expected to be the tournament that will finally end the Black Stars continental drought.After reach- ing the finals of the 2010 tournament, their first since Senegal ’92, the pressure to conquer the steep African summit will be immense. “For our people, it is either the trophy

stolen or misappropriated by its top officials, Nyantakyi is challenging the “high-handed” actions of the EOCO in court. “We are law-abiding people and there

was no legal basis for that raid,” he insists. “It was an exercise in high-handedness

and it’s regrettable that it happened. We are very aggrieved and have decided to seek redress in court. I hope that sooner than later the court will determine who is right and who is wrong. “Since 7 December, when they took

all our computers away, let them say what they have been able to find and what of- fences we committed? I am surprised that it is taking such a long time to come out with their findings. “If we have committed any wrongdo-

ing, let them tell us, so that we can defend ourselves.” Describing the waters of Ghanaian

football as being “full of sharks and tsu- namis”, Nyantakyi insists he is unpaid for his work. “People don’t know it but I do not get

a salary as GFA president. All I get is a stipend of 500 Cedis ($320) per month! “You do not believe me?” a smiling

been far from smooth sailing for the GFA’s mandarins in recent times. Officials of the country’s Economic

and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) made an unexpected dawn raid on the GFA’s headquarters on 7 December last year, closing the offices for three hours, detaining officials within the building and subsequently carting away the GFA’s computers for forensic examination. Denying claims that sponsorship mon-

ies, as well as the public funds given to the GFA by the government, had been

Nyantakyi asks, observing my disbeliev- ing countenance. “You can go to the ac- counts department and ask them. I am in this position in order to contribute to the growth of Ghanaian football. I work for a bank; I have a law firm in Accra (Annan & Nyantakyi) and also engage in other things to earn a living. “When people see me, they think I am

swimming in money. Te only things I get besides my stipend are the per diems I get when I am on international assignment for the association. Tat is what people see, think I am feeding fat on the GFA’s money and subsequently go green with envy,” he laughs.

or nothing, and at the next World Cup, it is the semi-finals or nothing… People are becoming used to success in Ghana and it is a big burden to meet high expectations. But I am happy to face the challenge,” says Nyantakyi. With a view to nurturing the next generation of Ghanaian footballers, the “Ghanaman School of Excellence” has been built in Prampram – a 45- minute drive away from Accra – with significant help from FIFA’s goal project programme. Te impressive centre has two hostels, kitchen and dining facilities, two training pitches and classrooms for technical sessions and seminars. “We need to nurture our young players

in the right environment, which is why it was important to build the school. It will play an important part in our future,” Nyantakyi says. “My biggest challenge at the mo-

ment is to raise funds for our future plans. Ghana’s economy is not as large as Nigeria’s or South Africa’s, so it is hard to get big-spending sponsors. “But we are determined to do more, because we need to develop women’s football, youth football, our leagues, as well as motivate our office staff.” Te odds-on favourite to win another

four-year term as GFA boss, in elections due later this year, a 10-year stretch in office will make Nyantakyi the longest serving boss in Ghanaian football history. He hopes the legacy he will bequeath to the country’s football is leaving it in rude health. “I want to leave a robust associa- tion, with enough sponsorship, with a solid foundation in youth football, to sustain good performances at the top level. I also want to see our coaches trained to take on the challenges of our national teams and see our referees flourishing interna- tionally.” From the look of things, Nyantakyi – and Ghana – seem well on their way.

New African March 2011 | 89

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92