ZURICH - World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana
were flirting with international suspension on Thursday after
FIFA told government authorities to stop interfering in the
country's Football Association (GFA).
FIFA, which briefly suspended Nigeria over political
interference in the sport in October, warned Ghana that
continued action would have "adverse consequences" after the
GFA's offices were raided on Tuesday.
"FIFA hopes that the Ghanaian authorities will reconsider
their actions and thus avoid the deepening of a crisis which
will only bring adverse consequences for the football lovers in
Ghana," said FIFA in a statement sent to Reuters.
Football's governing body added that the matter would be
referred to its emergency committee, which has the power to
impose a suspension, if the situation did not change by Sunday.
The row erupted on Tuesday when plain-clothed officers from
the country's Economic and Organised Crime Unit (EOCU) raided
the GFA headquarters and removed nine computers and took the
mobile phones of some staff.
The GFA said this had brought it to an administrative
"FIFA recognises that the Ghanaian government audits the GFA
accounts, but only related to the attribution of public funds,"
said FIFA's statement. "This excludes funds coming from other
sources, such as FIFA or CAF (the Confederation of African
"However, due to the EOCU move, the GFA had to stop all its
activities, including the running of the league or other
"For FIFA it is not acceptable if the GFA is not in a
position anymore to exercise the core of its mandate, which is
to run football in the country, because of government
On Wednesday, the Ghanaian clubs voted to pull their members
out of the league, bringing domestic football in the West
African nation to a standstill.
The GFA has not given reasons for the raid but noted
authorities had two months ago requested information on all
sponsorship contracts signed by the GFA.
It added that it had sought extra time to gather the
documents but had not received a response.
Ghana's World Cup success means it may now experience the
same problems as other African football nations such as Cameroon
or Nigeria, with the arrival of private sponsors creating
friction with the government.
Suspension would mean that the national team would be
grounded and that the country's clubs would also be unable to
take part in international competitions.
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