The appointment of Lawyer, Prosper Harrison Addo as General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) stirred controversy on Angel FM’s Floodlights show yesterday as President of Amidaus football club, Baba Gedo questioned the decision of the GFA’s Executive Council.
“The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has appointed legal practitioner, Prosper Harrison Addo as General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association. [His] appointment takes immediate effect” said the GFA. Just when congratulatory messages flooded Prosper Harrison Addo’s social media platforms, those who had problems with his appointment, took to radio to express dissent.
One of the dissenting minds was Baba Gedo, who found “everything wrong” with the appointment. Not only did Gedo think the appointment is a slap in the face of the resolve to carve a new image for the GFA, he also believed that, the appointment comes as an insult to the quest to truly clean up the mess, some of which he says, was caused by Prosper, during his tenure as Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee in the Kwesi Nyantakyi days.
An overly furious Baba Gedo cited, for example, the infamous Daniel Gozah case, which ended up at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). Baba Gedo argued that, for Prosper Harrison Addo to have presided over that case, which to him, mocked Ghana football, he, presently, does not deserve to be GFA’s General Secretary.
Save Baba Gedo’s emotional outbursts, he asked valid questions. These questions have answers. I had the privilege to also speak on Prosper’s appointment on the same radio station. I could not hide my fascination, looking back on the Obed Owusu case, for instance, and the controversy that cloaked the Disciplinary Committee’s ruling, and my firm conviction that, the Disciplinary Committee’s verdict was tailored to give Hearts of Oak an underserved breather, targeted at helping them to avoid relegation.
But should we use that to eternally question Prosper's credentials as fine lawyer and football brain? First, the decisions of the Disciplinary Committee were not Prosper Harrison Addo’s personal decisions. If the uproar about his appointment is all about some hair-splitting decisions of the Disciplinary Committee, like the Daniel Gozah case, then we might well say that, the GFA President, Kurt Okraku, should not have been allowed to contest the election.
Baba Gedo accuses Prosper Harrison Addo of “deliberate errors” in the DC’s decisions to spite foes and please his friends but he forgets that, none of those decisions were sacrosanct. Within the legal systems of the game, redress was always sought by aggrieved parties. That, Kurt appointed Prosper because he is his friend is an allegation that must be dumped into the dustbin.
The friendship between Kurt and Prosper is well-known. The fact however remains that, Prosper’s appointment was not Kurt’s personal decision. Even if it was, no one appoints a total stranger to a position in leadership. Besides, Prosper Harrison Addo is well-qualified for the job.
We must move on from the past. We also have to get rid of emotions in our discourse on Ghana football lest we fail! We can disagree with the GFA on Prosper Harrison Addo’s appointment, but the onus now lies on the new General Secretary to do his best to earn the trust of his fiercest critics. He should not disappoint.