Major Boost for Ghana Ahead of Kenya Clash

FIFA has lifted a threat to suspend the Ghana Football Association after the government decided not to shut down the scandal-hit national soccer body.

Instead, FIFA says it will work with the government and African soccer authorities to set up an interim panel overseeing fresh GFA elections by the end of March.

The accord means Ghana can play 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying games, including against Kenya on Sept. 7. Ghana’s government tried to dissolve the soccer federation after officials were implicated in bribery and corruption by an undercover reporter.

FIFA Council member Kwesi Nyantakyi resigned, and is being investigated by FIFA’s ethics committee for allegedly accepting a $65,000 cash gift. Members of the interim management panel must first pass a FIFA integrity check.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Ghana’s government would stop plans to dissolve the country’s FA over corruption allegations.

The action could keep the West African nation from suffering a global ban from football.

FIFA said the two sides had  agreed to work together “to offer leadership in reforming football administration in Ghana and in Africa.” They will set up a so-called “normalisation committee” to administer football in Ghana as well as a task force to create disciplinary, governance and auditing mechanisms.

FIFA says it will also work with Ghanaian leaders “to eradicate corruption and malfeasance and other associated criminal conduct from the administration of football in Ghana.”

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The GFA became embroiled in a scandal when its president Kwesi Nyantakyi was filmed by an investigative journalist in a hotel room appearing to take $65,000 in cash from a supposed businessman seeking to sponsor the Ghanaian football league.

Nyantakyi resigned from his posts as GFA president and from the posts he held with FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF). He denies any wrongdoing.

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