KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Kwesi Nyantakyi of Ghana has become the latest of an ever-lengthening list of FIFA Council or former executive committee members to be banned from football for life.
In the case of Nyantakyi the cause was not any connection to the massive four-year FIFAGate fraud and corruption investigation in the United States but domestic corruption.
The punishment has been handed down by the ethics committee after an investigation prompted by the under-cover investigative journalist known as under-cover journalist known as Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Last June Ghanaian football was thrown into chaos when the government dissolved the football association, of which Nyantaki was president, after a two-hour television documentary laid bare the activities of Nyantakyi who was both then GFA president, a vice-president of the African football confederation and one its delegates to governing FIFA Council.
He was suspended initially for 90 days and then a subsequent 45 days pending inquiry .
The documentary, entitled When Greed and Corruption Become the Norm,showed Nyantakyi in a hotel room accepting a $65,000 bribe from a supposed businessman seeking to sponsor the Ghanaian league for up to $15m over three years.
It also showed him offering to facilitate the award of key government contracts to the businessman on condition that he paid $12m in bribes through him to high-ranking officials and politicians including President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Nyantakyi requested $5m for Akufo-Addo, $3m for vice-president Mahamudu Bawumia, $2m for the roads minister, $1m for a deputy roads minister and another $1m for him and one of his aides.
Before public release the documentary had already been shown privately to senior police authorities.
Nyantakyi, 49, had headed the GFA since 2005 and had become president of West African Football Union Zone B in 2011 when he was also appointed as a member of FIFA’s Olympic football organising committee.
The documentary also showed local football officials including referees were shown accepting bribes ranging from goats to cash sums of between $50 and $650 to make favourable decisions.
FIFA ethics committee statement:
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has banned Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.
The adjudicatory chamber found Mr Nyantakyi guilty of having violated art. 19 (Conflicts of interest), art. 21 (Bribery and corruption) and art. 22 (Commission) of the FIFA Code of Ethics, 2012 edition. As a consequence, Mr Nyantakyi is banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level. Additionally, a fine in the amount of CHF 500,000 has been imposed on Mr Nyantakyi.
The decision was notified to Mr Nyantakyi today, and the ban comes into force immediately.