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Ghana FA presidency: Five candidates hoping to succeed Kwesi Nyantakyi in 2019

Published on: 17 October 2017

Ghana FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi will call time on his 14-year tenure at the helm of the local football governing body in 2019, and there are no shortages of possible replacements.

Lobbying to replace the FIFA and CAF Council member has started snowballing amid interest from several portfolios who are nursing an ambition of succeeding the outgoing Ghanaian FA Leader.

Major issues bordering on competence, pedigree, integrity, credibility, qualification, trust and loyalty amongst others will prove the yardstick in deciding who takes over the wheel of Ghana football.

The ‘time for alliances is coming" with development suggesting that electoral horse-trading might be about to begin in the battle to replace Nyantakyi as head of Ghana football's governing body.

The presidential election in 2019 presents a perfect opportunity for major change to happen, with calls for a fresh face with innovative ideas to instill the high levels of ethics and morality that should be commonplace when being in supreme control of a local federation.

GHANAsoccernet.com's Patrick Kwame Akoto explores FIVE serious candidates who could replace Ghana FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi in 2019, in what promises to be an intriguing contest.

Kurt Edwin Simon Okraku

The young and vibrant football administrator has been coy on contesting for the top position amid several clarion calls on him to take a shot at the presidency.

The University of Liverpool-trained administrator is extremely qualified for the job and largely seen as the most credible person to take the reins of power.

He is largely regarded as a visionary and competent having transformed Dreams FC into a model club in the West African nation.

The promoted Premier League side are hugely regarded as the most professionally-run football club in Ghana and continues to earn rave reviews for emerging quickly on the blocks.

The ambitious former sports journalist won a landslide victory to clinch a seat on the Executive Committee of the FA in 2015 to underline his popularity among the football class.

Okraku is enjoying positive review from many Ghanaian football fans for his efforts in development of football in the last decade with many touting him as a suitable candidate to succeed Kwesi Nyantakyi.

He has been largely credited for reviving the FA Cup which has received multiple sponsorships since he joined the train.

Replacing Alhaji MND Jawula as the chairman of the FA Cup committee has been no fluke, justifying his elevation by spearheading a massive revolution of the Cup competition.

His level of intellect is beyond measure and will be an interesting preposition if he decides to contest for the top job.

With Premier and lower division clubs suffocating under financial stress, he could be the man to turn things around with his expertise in sponsorship drives.

Kurt is largely seen as the man who can spearhead the revolution urgently required to take Ghana football to the next level and brings a player's perspective to the job.

He is well-educated, articulate, breezes outstanding head of hair and appears to enjoy the backing of Division One clubs, many Premier league clubs and crucially the regional FA blocks.

It’s unclear if he will throw himself into the race but his enviable worth of experience in football administration bodes well for his ambition.

 George Afriyie

The Ghana FA vice-president has been tipped to contest for the position when it becomes vacant in 2019.

Afriyie, who owns second-tier side Okyeman Planners, is viewed in some quarters as the heir apparent but things have changed dramatically in the past few months.

The Emergency Committee member of the Ghana FA appears to have seen his fortunes dwindled after his widely publicized bust-up with his boss Kwesi Nyantakyi.

The widely publicized tension between himself and his boss could come to play in the final analysis with watchers arguing whoever gets the nod will require the strong backing of the incumbent- and doesn’t appear he will get that considering the wedge between the two men.

The Liberty Professionals director is considered a strong candidate but will need to do more to tip the scales of power in his favour, with several other candidates now seemingly in an even position to put their case forwards towards being the next Ghana FA president.

The Black Stars management committee chief is a fine gentleman but becoming the next FA boss requires more than just personality.

Afriyie supervised the Black Stars failed 2018 World Cup attempt amid the controversies that characterized the team’s qualifying surge.

He will need to grapple with issues of trust and loyalty following his fall-out with Kwesi Nyantakyi – who remains a huge figure in the current scheme of things.

However, his recent appointment  to serve on the powerful Africa Cup of Nations Organising Committee, may boost his ratings.

He wasted no time in closing ranks by saluting FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi for nominating him for the top job.

Any candidate must be elected by the Ghana FA membership. That means courting the same constituencies that came out for Nyantakyi and the status quo.

With the Electoral College unlikely to be expanded before the elections, Nyantakyi still may hold sway with certain voting blocks, giving him some sway in choosing who succeeds him.

Fred Pappoe

He is seen as an influential figure within the organization who could be a real contender to replace Kwesi Nyantakyi.

Pappoe has served in different capacities at the FA including being vice-president, Chairman of the Black Stars management committee, Chairman of CHAN team, Chairman of the Match Review Panel as well as serving on the Executive Committee of the Ghana FA.

An unassuming character, Pappoe appears refined but will need to grapple with constant allegations of undermining the current FA boss.

He is rumoured to be among a cabal seeking to force Kwesi Nyantakyi out of power –cited among key advisors to former Sports minister Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, who is believed to have adopted an antagonistic approach towards the FA during his tenure.

He decided to take a step back to focus on club administration - where he is serving as a top director of Premier League side Great Olympics.

He will need to convince the movers and shakers of the game in the West African nation that he is the right man to spearhead the revolution of the sport.

Fred Crentsil

A close ally of the incumbent, Fred Pappoe could throw himself into the ring to succeed his ‘friend’.

A former Ghana FA vice-president, Fred Crentsil lost his seat on the powerful Executive Committee in 2015.

The former Hearts of Oak stalwart could re-launch an ambition to return to mainstream football administration again when the FA presidency becomes vacant.

It’s unclear the level of gravitas he holds among football aficionados with his case making for an intriguing reading.

If he gets the full backing of Kwesi Nyantakyi, Crentsil could be a real contender in the race which promises to be fireworks.

Charisma may be an issue, as Crentisl would face an uphill battle to court many voting blocks.

Nana Yaw Amponsah

He is regarded as the only ‘outsider’ in the race to succeed Kwesi Nyantakyi and would require a miracle to achieve the ultimate.

He is the president of Ghanaian second-tier side Phar Rangers and has enjoyed a lot of inches in the local media in recent times.

He is considered a ‘day dreamer’ nurturing an ambition to succeed the outgoing FA capo.

It will appear quite a humongous task for the sports lawyer and FIFA intermediary as he will need to endear himself to the voting blocks.

He was voted as the 2017 Sports Personality of the prestigious 40 Under Awards earlier this month.

He has talked a big game about reforms and organisational changes with his hymn of ‘decoding the football people tag’.

He is young and has little experience in football administration compared to his potential opponents.

He could win a public vote, but this is anything but.

By Patrick Akoto

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