I stated my support for the Ghana Football Association (GFA) presidential aspirant, George Afriyie in a WhatsApp group chat upon a question asked and moments later, private messages flooded my inbox – people expressing their disappointment. 

A few ones asked why not Kurt Okraku, the incumbent. My replies were: it is a democracy. It is a free world. Therefore, opting for the former GFA Vice President, George Afriyie is within my right. Besides, it is a matter of principle for me that after assessing Kurt’s work and listening to his opponent, I chose the latter.   

I have engaged George Afriyie on his vision for Ghana football. I do not have his permission to share (he would do that himself). I have only been intrigued by messages in my inbox, a few of them presuming that I cannot have a choice. Others also say it is because I want a bite of the football cherry. I maintain I have no such interest.

Not all of us make choices in expectation of material gain. The tragedy of this society is that many think of their selfish interest more than the greater good of where they serve. Thus to those minds, it is not possible to support a cause or someone without putting self-satisfying benefits first. It is not the case with everyone. 

That said, if you are not extolling bigotry, why would you insult the intelligence of others merely because their political choice differs from yours? We should know that in a contest whose winner would be determined by votes, there would be preferences. The competition would not be one-sided.

Opportunities exist in our football governance system to elect or retain officers every four years. If you make yourself available for election, you must convince the football electorates why they deserve your vote, and the media would critique your promises. 

There is bound to be disagreement, often sharp differences but if in all of that, we cannot have a discussion without looking down on others or threatening them, only because we want power, then the real motive of seeking power in Ghana football is not about developing our game but rather to advance parochial, corrupt interests. 

Football is governed by rules. Laws must be tested. If there are football people who would resort to the law courts over election processes which they say are skewed (because the presidential election is preceding that of the regional chairmen for example), they must be given that room granted they on the right legal premise. 

And finally, if we believe in democracy as we profess to, we must have the time and patience for rule of law too, otherwise we behave like those who preach virtue and practice vice. That should not be said of football people in a democratic space.