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Jerome’s Take: The petition against Kurt

The decision by one Akwasi Ossei Nkrumah, a writer and sports enthusiast to petition FIFA on Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kurt E. S. Okraku, has sparked disagreements with wild commentaries on various social media platforms including WhatsApp groups; radio and television networks.

The petitioner, saying he is “emboldened” by Article 60 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, petitioned FIFA on “potential and actual breaches of the FIFA Code of Ethics, 2023” by the GFA boss. Quoting several articles backing his claims, the petitioner listed forgery and falsification, conflicts of interest in appointments at the GFA, abuse of position, manipulation of matches or competitions and duty of loyalty as the basis upon which FIFA must investigate Kurt.

Although the petitioner is duly following procedure to reverse what he considers as infractions in the governance of our game, some journalists and GFA communicators see this act as targeted at subverting the Kurt Okraku-administration to destroy our football. Some of them are boldfaced in their conviction to compare this petition to what investigative journalist, Anas did in 2018 with his corruption expose #12.

The comparison is unintelligent. #12, whether it was a vile plot to unseat then GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi or not, was an undercover work. This is a petition filed in broad daylight. It cannot be likened to journalists going underground to bring out what they deem corrupt in our football.

In the civilised, democratic environment football operates, there is nothing wrong if a fan, acting as a whistle blower, take acceptable legal routes to petition FIFA on what he believes has the tendency to impair the growth of the game in Ghana. If we are not educating the public on the petition, we should also not misinform them.

Petitioning FIFA is not criminal. It is for good governance granted one’s petition has any weight. The petition’s frivolity or otherwise is for FIFA to tell. GFA publicists say the petition is empty. I will not make sweeping statements either for or against the petition but to the extent that someone finds certain things wrong in our football administration and proceeds to FIFA; I commend such a move.

Reading the petition, the allegations seem grave. I would love to see FIFA’s take especially on the conflict of interest in Kurt’s appointments, abuse of position, manipulation of matches or competitions, etc. All these have adverse consequences on football governance and FIFA would best judge.

Meanwhile, journalist Sheikh Tophic’s lies that me and five others colluded to circulate the petition simultaneously and that we knew the author and source of the petition must be exposed. A petition copied to media houses was destined to reach journalists; how anybody would not discuss the points in the petition but publicly peddle falsehood about colleagues amplify their lack of seriousness.

I sufficiently dealt with Sheik’s bogus allegation on Twitter and Facebook. It is a shameless lie, Sheik. I was neither trained to scheme and undermine others nor the authority of leaders. I do not waste time on evil, ungodly, unproductive ventures. I read, observe, learn, and ask questions.

Doing that openly with decorum does not constitute wrongdoing. The GFA’s media assigns like Sheik Tophic should note that they cannot cow anyone into submission with falsehood or mindless fabrications. Let us disagree with civility, that is fine, but no one should lie, insult or assume we have no minds of our own.

Credit: Jerome Otchere

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