Normalisation Committee secures $1.2m for special competition

Author: Maurice Quansah
Dr Kofi Amoah - President of the Normalisation Committee

The Normalisation Committee of the Ghana Football Association has received $1.2 million from the government to help it organise a special tournament for league clubs and also run some football activities in the country, the Daily Graphic newspaper can reveal.

According to Dr Kofi Amoah, president of the four-member Normalisation Committee appointed by FIFA to run the FA, the caretaker body has managed to secure adequate funding to start a novelty competition to get the football teams active while the committee undertakes its other mandate of reforming Ghana football.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic at his Citizen Kofi House offices in Accra, Dr Amoah explained that it was important to get clubs active again after more than eight months since organised competitions were suspended in the country in the aftermath of an exposé on widespread corruption in Ghana football last June.

He said following meetings with various constituent bodies in Ghana football, including player and club administrators, there was an overwhelming call on the Normalisation Committee to get the teams active so that cash-strapped clubs could raise some money to pay the salaries of their players and other staff, which were in arrears.

He explained that the corruption scandal which hit Ghana football after the exposé by Anas Aremeyaw Anas made corporate bodies unwilling to associate with the game, so the Normalisation Committee had to make a strong case to the government for financial support.

“We told the government that our football is a special segment of our national lives because it brings us together and has been used as a branding tool for the country and it has some value, but because of the present situation no company was ready to put money into it.

“We asked the government for support so that we can begin to do things right and as things brighten up and success comes, corporate Ghana will come on board. The government saw wisdom in our appeal and gave us $800,000. Later, the Ministry of Youth and Sports added $400,000 so we have $1.2 million, which is less than the $1.5 million we initially wanted,” Dr Amoah revealed.

However, the Normalisation Committee boss stressed that the money pledged by the government would also be used to support a competition for women’s football, as well as help run other football activities since some FIFA funding that came to the FA annually through the GOAL Project had been suspended because there was no substantive FA executive management in place.

He explained that the competition delayed because of difficulties in securing funding followed by an initial decision by the Premier League Clubs to withdraw from it due to disagreements over the format and the prize money.

Dr Amoah said when the Normalisation Committee started its work by meeting with stakeholders in the game, it gave the group a better understanding of the challenges facing the game and, therefore, helped them design solutions to some of these problems using the special competition to gauge the success or otherwise of those solutions.

“We are, therefore, starting a new tournament, and some solutions to the problems have been designed into the new tournament and will be tested. I don’t know if it will be 100 per cent fool proof, but at least we have some ideas about what is wrong and have put these answers into the tournament to gauge them to see their effectiveness,” he added.