No rubber stamp GFA Exco!

Author: Ebo Kwaitoo

All things being equal, the suspense-filled vetting of nominees seeking to contest for the various positions in the upcoming Ghana Football Association (GFA) elections will be climaxed on Wednesday per the Normalisation Committee's revised roadmap.

Officially, the mandate of the Dr Kofi Amoah-led NC as an interim body for Ghana Football affairs should have effectively ended today but for the extra time permitted by FIFA to enable them to supervise the all-important elections.

After a turbulent sail, the NC, comprising Dr Amoah, Naa Odofoley Nortey and Samuel Osei Kuffour, seem to be cruising home comfortably into the history books. All things being equal, they will bow out gracefully on that fateful October 25 when the new GFA Executive Council members will be sworn into office to usher Ghana Football into a new era for the next four years.

Between last Friday and Saturday, the seven aspirants, Kurt Okraku, Amanda Clinton, Nana Yaw Amponsah, Fred Pappoe, George Afriyie, Wilfred Osei and George Ankomah Mensah, appeared before the five-member vetting committee, hoping to sail through as we wait for the big announcement by the close of the week.

Until Kwesi Nyantakyi's successor is decided through the ballot box at the next GFA Extraordinary Session, the speculations and predictions will not end. Indeed, the debate is even expected to intensify in the coming days as the seven presidential hopefuls take turns to unveil their manifestos, after Kurt Okraku had set a cracking pace last week with a a laudable vision for Ghana Football. As to whether he can deliver on his promises or not, only time will tell. However, one thing is obvious; that until a candidate is given the chance to lead, no one can actually tell what he or she can do.

At the Alisa Hotel on Wednesday, another aspirant, Wilfred Kweku Osei, will also be in the spotlight as he launches his manifesto to tell Ghanaians and the 120 delegates what he has in store for the next phase of Ghana Football. Just as I lauded Kurt for his impressive delivery last week, let me commend Palmer, as Osei is affectionately called, for the way he has carried himself so far during the normalisation period. It amazes me how the man who is known to be forthright has been so quiet all this while.

As we go through the manifesto, unveiling an intensive campaign season, I only hope and pray that the aspirants will not be carried away by public opinion to lose sight of their core business of winning the hearts of the delegates. This is because on October 25, their destiny will be defined by the delegates.

While who the new GFA President will be remains unknown, the same cannot be said of the composition of the new 12-member Executive Council (ExCo). At least, the list of nominees which was published by the GFA at the close of nominations gives a clue as to what the next ExCo would be like, the vetting result notwithstanding.

Considering the names which emerged, I daresay that the new ExCo could be one of the best things in recent times. The likes of George Amoako (Kotoko), Frederick Moore (Hearts), Frederick Acheampong (Ashantigold), Dr Toni Aubynn (Medeama), Albert Commey (Aduana), Kingsley Osei Bonsu (Bechem) and Nana Sarfo Oduro (Berekum Chelsea) who are chasing for the five Premier League slots are solid brains who bring a lot of quality to the table, I believe such heavyweights can provide the necessary checks and balances to keep the new president on his toes.

Similarly, some of the nine candidates who are hopeful for the three Division One slots, such as veteran Alhaji Gruzah, Jones Alhassan-Abu and Randy Abbey are veterans, who still have a lot to offer to Ghana Football. That is what gives me the hope that the Exco will not be a rubber stamp for whoever becomes the next president.

Beyond the intrigues and underhand dealings which could influence the constituent bodies' voting on October 24, the delegates should be guided by the need to elect sincere and objective people to represent their interest at the FA hierarchy. The Regional Football Association (RFA) chairmen and the elite women's clubs cannot be an exception to the rule when it comes to choosing their respective two and one representatives to complete the ExCo list.

Surely, a matured ExCo will serve a better purpose than a bunch of shameless people who can easily sell their birthright for a morsel of food or a dime.