Former Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, has turned to the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sports in a quest to overturn a lifetime ban and a hefty fine slapped on him on Tuesday by football’s world governing body, FIFA.
In a press statement on Wednesday, the former football chief described the FIFA sanctions as “unfair, harsh and unwarranted” and indicated that he would appeal the decision in a determined effort to clear his name.
Mr Nyantakyi, until recently the First Vice-President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and a former member of the powerful FIFA Council, was found guilty by the world body’s Independent Ethics Committee of multiple violations of FIFA Code of Ethics in areas of Bribery, Conflict of Interest and Commission.
In addition to being banned from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other), the longest-serving GFA boss was hit with a CHF500,000 (equivalent of $497,497.50) fine.
In his statement, Mr Nyantakyi noted that he was shocked and deeply sad at the decision but indicated that he would use all legal channels available to him to seek redress.
On June 8, he resigned from all positions at GFA, CAF, FIFA and the West African Football Union where he was president of Zone B, after FIFA provisionally suspended him for 90 days pending investigations into his conduct in an undercover investigation in which he was secretly filmed receiving cash gifts from undercover agents disguised as potential investors in Ghana football.
“Even though I have already resigned from all my football positions, it is important I establish the facts with the sole aim of clearing my name,” said the statement which added that Mr Nyantakyi’s lawyers were “reviewing the facts for appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS)”.
The CAS, based in the Swiss city of Lausanne, is an international quasi-judicial body established to settle disputes related to sport through arbitration. Its decisions are final and binding on the world’s major sporting organisations, including the International Olympic Committee and FIFA.