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Ghana FA President Sues Media House After it Labelled Him ‘Head of Mafia’

Ghana FA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi has issued a $2 million libel suit against a Ghanaian broadcast company. Nyantakyi is suing Multimedia Broadcasting Limited (MBL) and two of its journalists, Patrick Osei Agyeman and Kofi Asare Brako for describing him as the ‘head of a mafia.’

“I am not interested in money or punishment but to set the record straight,” Nyantakyi told BBC Sport.

According to BBC Sport, Thaddeus Sory, Nyantakyi’s lawyer confirmed the claims made by his client, accusing Asempa FM – a local language FM station owned by MBL – of damaging his (Nyantakyi) image during several broadcasts, by the two journalists.

Sory who disputed the accusations, said his client was described as ‘heading a mafia’ and stealing money meant for the GFA.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”The allegations are defamatory. To call him the head of a mafia is to impute criminality,”[/perfectpullquote]

said Sory.

Nyantakyi added, “They’ve called me a ‘thief’, ‘armed robber’ and a ‘corrupt man.

“I have sued them. I want to uphold standards in journalism in Ghana which have been thrown to the dogs.”

This would not be the first time Nyantakyi – Ghana football president since ’05 – has taken legal action against a media outlet. In 2014, it was confirmed that he considered taking legal action against a British report following a match-fixing scandal in the same year, which cast a shadow on the GFA leader’s reputation.

A secret investigation by the Telegraph and Channel 4’s Dispatched program, revealed an involvement of Nyantakyi together with a licensed FIFA agent and a Ghana club official, in a plan to play the national team, the Black Stars, in international matches that others were prepared to rig.

The investigation lasted six months, sparked by a discovered partnership between football officials and criminal gangs, who were looking to rig scores in international games.

Nyantakyi argued that “the contents of the the publication are not wholly true” and told the BBC Sport he had sent a seven-page response to both parties and considered taking legal action after denying the allegations.

Maintaining his innocence, he further denied the allegations and described the story as a ‘cut and paste’ work. The GFA’s ethics committee later cleared Nyantakyi after FIFA responded to reports of the case, which they later referred to the committee.

“We found that there is nothing implicating Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi because from FIFA’s investigation nothing has been found and our investigations and also from questions put to the two gentlemen, we were satisfied that there was also again nothing against him,” said Nana Ampofo Agyel, head of the Ethics Committee.

Meanwhile, Chris Forsythe, the FIFA agent and Obed Nketiah, Chief Executive of Ghana premier side, Berekum Chelsea FC, were banned.

But Nyantakyi’s leadership qualities still face scrutiny following scandals that rendered him one of the most criticized bosses in the country.

In 2015, a government instituted panel of enquiry, recommended that he refund $412,000 budgeted for the 2014 World Cup, “which he has failed to account for.” He is challenging the enquiry’s verdict in court.

Nyantakyi has also been accused of interfering in games involving his side, Wa All Stars. It is claimed that the Ghanaian FA President has influenced and master minded heavy sanctions and bans imposed on match officials.

Nyantakyi who has worked as a banker and a lawyer, is the President of the Ghana FA, WAFU Zone B, CAF Executive Committee member, a FIFA Council member and currently appointed to serve on the University of Ghana Sports Advisory Board.

He became the first Ghanaian to serve on the most powerful committee in world football, whose significant expansion is part of FIFA’s reforms introduced by new president, Gianni Infantino.


Featured Photo: Ghana FA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi (Getty Images/AFP)

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