We are not a jungle, Ghana tells FIFA

Hatem Maher, Saturday 11 Dec 2010

Ghana’s Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said his country should be able to exercise its sovereignty in the wake of FIFA’s accusations over alleged government interference in football affairs

Ghana national team
Ghana could be banned by FIFA

FIFA reacted angrily after plain-clothed officers from the country’s Economic and Organized Crime Unit (EOCU) raided the headquarters of Ghana’s Football Association (GFA) last Tuesday.

The world governing body warned Ghana against government interference and referred the matter to its emergency committee, which can impose sanctions on the GFA ‘if the situation does not change by Sunday’.

“FIFA will need to understand the objective situation on the ground before making statements, we must make the points clearly that we are a sovereign country and we have laws,” Ablakwa was quoted as saying by Ghanaian media.

“The constitution still remains the supreme law in this country, so there is no other law that will run supreme over our constitution.

“Ghana is not a jungle; we are under the rule of law and all organizations must have that clearly and as our constitution states. If you have any law or regulation that is inconsistent with the constitution of Ghana, it is null and void; it doesn’t apply here in our jurisdiction.”

The GFA suspended all organized football in the country on Friday, saying that no matches will be held until police complete their investigation into the association’s activities.

FIFA’s regulations prohibit any sort of political interference in football, which it says should be solely managed by the national associations.

It briefly suspended Nigeria in October over similar accusations.

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