President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi, has been appointed the first Vice-President of the Confederation of Africa Football by the newly elected president of CAF, Ahmad Ahmad and accepted by the Executive Committee. Sources close to the “Wa Polo” indicates that, Nyantakyi will not seek re-election as president of the Ghana FA in 2019. This situation presents an opportunity for one of the princes to be crown as the king of Ghana’s Football governing body.
Nyantakyi spent over a decade in office after he won the elections in 2005.
After months of infighting between members of the Ghana League Clubs Association led by Kofi Manu, Kudjoe Fianoo, Oluboye Commodore and J. Y. Appiah and leadership of the FA, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe eventually stepped down as president of the FA. FIFA directed the Ghana FA to hold elections without governmental interference, paving the way for Nyantakyi to become president of the GFA.The elections in 2019 will be completely different from that of 2005 because, this will be the first election without Nyantakyi contesting. The 2005 elections was the first time in the association’s history that, the position of president was going to be an elective office, after years of government appointing the head of the FA. Nyantakyi who was representing Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) was then the Vice-President to the government appointee Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe.
The big question after Nyantakyi’s exit is who succeeds him as the next king of Ghana Football. This article seeks to access the strengths and weaknesses of 5 possible replacements for Kwesi Nyantakyi.
George Afriyei is the current Vice-President of the Ghana Football Association and also doubles as Chairman of the Black Stars management committee. George was elected unto the Executive Committee of the FA in the last elections and later appointed by the President as part of the five member Emergency Committee. George Afriyei is also the founder of Okyeman Planners.GEORGE AFRIYEI (Favorite)
George’s position as the Vice-President of the FA gives him a strong footing going into the election. He was heavily involved in the campaign and election of Nyantakyi as FIFA Council Member in the last CAF congress, as a matter of fact, he voted on behalf of the association and is expected to build his contact and network internationally. He enjoys some goodwill from both “football people” and the media.
His personality, many believe he is too aggressive to become the president of the FA. If his bid to become the President of the FA will be successful, he will need the support of his boss Kwesi Nyantakyi, however his relationship with Nyantakyi has gone sour. Close sources say it’s because George was too close to former Sports Minister Nii Lantey Vanderpuye who was antagonistic towards Nyantakyi and the FA.
It is also important to note that, adverse findings were made against him, in the Dzamefe Commission of enquiry into Ghana’s shameful 2014 World Cup report.
The findings was also upheld by the government’s white-paper. The commission recommended that, George should be banned from any of the Ghana National teams. Although he is challenging the findings in the Court of Appeal, the outcome has the potential of derailing his ambitions.
Kurt Okraku is the Executive Chairman of Dreams Football Club, chairman of Proton Sports Service, Former Administrative secretary of the Ghana League Clubs Association and Chairman of the FA Cup committee of the Ghana Football Association. Kurt was elected unto the executive committee of the FA in the last elections.KURT E. S. OKRAKU (Favorite)
Rich; Kurt’s company Proton Sports Service is the entity that brokered the Mega television right deal between GFA and Chinese Television Company StarTimes. Kurt is estimated to earn $400,000 annually on the deal. Dreams FC of which he is the Executive Chairman transferred John Antwi in the region of $1,000,000. “So you know say money no be problem” when it comes to running his campaign. The success story of the FA Cup is largely attributed to his leadership. Kurt is respected because of his background, he holds Masters in Business Administration (football industry) from the University of Liverpool.
Kurt’s biggest challenge would be convincing the electoral college of his non-involvement in the biggest player transfer scandal in our football, which eventually led to the demotion of Dreams Football Club from the elite division to division one and one of the directors of the club banned from football for five years.
The host of Good Morning Ghana is a former communications director of Accra Hearts of Oak, former communications director of the Ghana Football Association and former Executive Committee Member of the Ghana FA. Randy is also a part owner of Kpando Hearts of Lions, a division 1 club. Lions are a point behind Kurt’s Dreams FC in Zone 3 of the Division 1 league.
One of Randy’s strength, going into the elections, would be his communications skill and of cause, it stands to reason because, Randy is a Public Relations and communication consultant. Many miss his days as the communication director of the FA. However his biggest strength is how deep his wallet is. Randy is one of the few individuals who benefited from the presidency of his “Godfather” John Mahama. His knowledge of the dynamics of FA elections can-not be underestimated since he was part of Nyantakyi’s team from 2005 till they fell apart before the 2015 elections. Randy holds MBA from Australian Institute of Business.
Randy’s biggest challenge will be getting the support of Kwesi Nyantakyi and his loyalist “football people”. Once best of friends but now worst enemies – “the champ” is seen as the one behind the vicious media attack on Nyantakyi.
The true test of his popularity came in 2011 elections where he had to go to the polls 2 times to get a ticket unto the executive committee. Randy Abbey, is seen by many as arrogant and Victor Ahiakpor the original founder of Kpando Hearts of Lions, narrative of how Randy treated him at Obuasi on happy FM did not help his public image.
One of his famous quote as communications director of the FA “When the talk shop is open everybody can talk” this was Randy’s comment at a press conference after Ghana failed to “host and win” 2008 AFCON, many journalist felt insulted by this comment.
Papsay as he is called is a Board member of Accra Great Olympics, a former Vice President of the FA, a former Executive Committee member and a former Black Stars Committee Chairman.FRED PAPPOE (Dark Horse)
His achievements with the Black Stars as the Chairman of the management committee, the team achieved remarkable success in 2010. The Black Stars played in the finals of the AFCON for the first time in over 20 years and reached the quarter final of the world cup. This will be very prominent in his campaign message.
Just like Randy Abbey, his sins in the past will determine his future ambitions. It was rumored that the two were determined to use all means to force Nyantakyi out of office. This was made evident when Nii Lantey Vanderpuye disclosed in one of his many radio interviews that Randy Abbey and Fred Pappoe were among his key advisors in his antagonistic reign as Ghana’s sports minister.
Nana Yaw Amponsah is an entrepreneur with interests in the business of football and beverages. He is a (FIFA Licensed Player Agent and FA Players’ Intermediary) and the Founder and CEO of YAMVI Company Limited based in the UK and Ghana.NANA YAW AMPONSAH (Outsider)
He also founded Cornny Drinks Limited the manufacturers of the beverage trend Cornny which is fast becoming a worldwide favourite. He is the President of Phar Rangers Football Club and Cornerstone Football Club in Ghana. He holds Master of Laws (LLM) Sports Law and Practice from De Montfort University (Leicester, United Kingdom)
Based on his work as a FIFA intermediary, he is well connected with several top clubs and sports consortiums in Europe, Asia and South America. As a matter of fact he has helped in the transfer of players of most Ghanaian Clubs abroad. He believes in empowering “Football people” and clubs to become more viable. If the Electoral College decide to change the entire football system then he has a great chance of winning the election.
Nobody knows him. That can be a strength or weakness. If he want to be the President of the FA, he has a lot of work to do. Nana Yaw Amponsah also appears to be overly ambitious.
Please note that the election is two years away and a lot of things can and will change.
By: Ohene-Bampoe Brenya