"Blame government for Ghana's World Cup woes" - Kojo Yankah
A member of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Executive Committee (ExCo), Mr Kojo Yankah, says it is high time the FA sought autonomy over the running of the various national teams to avoid conflict with the government.
He said one sure way to end the current FA-government brouhaha which had caught FIFA’s attention was for the GFA to seek sponsorship to fund the national teams independent of government to enhance the nation’s chances in international competitions.
Yankah, who is also the chairman of the Western Region Football Association (WRFA), founder of Westlandes FC and a contractor, was highly disappointed that the Black Stars could not go far at the Brazil 2014 World Cup due to delayed appearance fees.
“If the FA can find a way of mobilising its own resources to manage the national teams without depending on the government for money, we will go a long way to achieve a lot for the nation,” he stressed in an interview with the Graphic Sports last Monday.
“Just take a look at the friendly matches we played before the World Cup; the government told the FA to organise the matches from its sponsorship money because the government had no money and everything went well.
“But when the appearance fees delayed and the team failed to perform, they are now blaming the FA,” a visibly peeved Yankah lamented.
He wondered why the FA could be held culpable for the expenditure of the national teams when all disbursements are usually handled by an accountant from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“Why would the players respect FA officials if they have to consult the accountant for money before any item could be bought?” he questioned.
“I think it is time the FA dissociated itself from the government regarding the financing of the national teams to avoid all these problems.”
He noted that it was nothing new for the GFA to be autonomous of the government since that was the practice in Europe, the US and other parts of the world.
He, however, stressed that being a state asset, the government could decide to support the national teams financially from time to time even after the FA had taken over.
He emphasised that the FA had to be given the free hand to run the national teams from the preparatory stage through the qualifiers to major tournaments to boost the nation’s chances of winning trophies.
He pointed out that the current situation where the government took all gates proceeds from national team games and also kept the FIFA World Cup money was not fair to the GFA.
“They don’t give us anything, not even the World Cup money that comes to the FA. What they always tell us is that it is the government which sponsors the national teams,” he stated.
Mr Yankah said if the government wanted to have a say in FA’s affairs, then it had to start investing in football right from the colts level to the premiership.
“If the government wants to participate in football or offer suggestions, then it first has to cater for the colts, third, second, first and premier division leagues,” he added.
Source: Graphic Sports