‘It’s advisable you read the entire proposal before you form any opinion’, a Ghana Football Association (GFA) official told me. ‘The very conception of extending the two four-year terms (eight years) to 12 years, paints a picture of you losing touch with the things that matter’, I replied. He’s since not responded.
I don’t expect a response because he doesn’t agree with me. Not many people have faith in the GFA. They don’t believe Congress, GFA’s highest decision-making body, take decisions that serve the larger interest of the nation. Some of their decisions have been self-serving, elevating parochial interests to the highest pedestal.
Example: In the 2019 polls which ushered Kurt Okraku into office, some fans including members of Congress felt that despite Kurt passing the Presidential eligibility test, he was unfit to run because of a fictitious player-name-change issue that saw Dreams FC (his club) demoted.
Nevertheless, the argument for Kurt was that because he had been punished with the demotion, it was unjust, in fact, a case of double punishment had he been disqualified from the election. Yet avid crusaders of leadership ethics still wanted him out insisting that he shouldn’t have been passed by the Normalisation Committee’s vetting team.
Kurt would win amidst wild, unproven allegations of vote-buying at the elective Congress. For this some people have little or no belief in Congress or Kurt himself, who’s in the final lap of his four-year mandate. Before that mandate ends, there’s a proposal reportedly to change the eight-year term (renewal after four years) to 12 years.
I appreciate why some want to read the proposal first before forming an opinion. I’m however insistent that merely proposing a term extension from eight to 12 years (not necessarily for Kurt Okraku because there’s no guarantee he would win) under our current football circumstances is problematic.
Our national teams aren’t doing well at international competitions. Some have even been banned for years for age-cheating. Our leagues need resuscitation, player exodus is worsening, there’s little corporate support for our leagues, officiating isn’t getting better, attendance at matches is declining, infrastructure – quality of pitches is poor, etc.
Any GFA leader needs time to resolve these bottlenecks and let’s not be deceived; eight years offer a big room of time not to solve these problems but of course, give strong indicators of change with the right decisions or steps taken – regardless of the size of available resources. The term limit extension proposal must be rejected.
If you’re President of the GFA and you don’t decisively tackle the problems I’ve enumerated, even 20 years on the seat wouldn’t be enough for you. Time is a vital commodity in governance but of crucial essence is what you do as a leader within the time you’re to work. Longevity in office doesn’t automatically lead to development. It’s what you do as a leader that always matters.
Ghana football was in the grips of Kwesi Nyantakyi for 13 years. I’m not measuring how our game grew under Kwesi’s care. My point is, we’ve just started the experimentation of the two four-year terms with Kurt Okraku’s administration, who’re yet to complete a full term. How do we suddenly contemplate an extension of terms?
Our football has leadership – administration or serious governance issues. Financial, infrastructural, even trust or confidence, isn’t so present in our game. Many believe Ghana football as a product isn’t selling on the market the way it should. We’d be better of pondering how we can sell this product well to domestic fans and outsiders instead of contemplating a presidential term-limit extension. It should be shot down.
The proposal should be thrown out by Congress if they’re in touch with the public whose support they invariably need to sell Ghana football.