ACCRA - Ghana sought to avoid FIFA
action on Monday, saying it would immediately lift a temporary
halt of league football imposed last week after police raided
the football association in a tax and fraud probe.
World governing body FIFA, which takes a dim view of
outside interference in football affairs, warned after last
week's seizure of computers and files of a possible suspension
for the World Cup quarter-finalists.
"FIFA's intervention has made some mark and we are going
to lift the ban... it is in the national interest," said
Emmanuel Addotey, head of the GHALCA league clubs association,
adding the move would be agreed at a meeting later on Monday.
Separately, the Ghana Football Association said it was
also resuming its activities on Monday after the seizure of
equipment brought its administrative activities to a standstill.
"We're reopening our offices today with the hope to move
forward," Ghana FA spokesman Randy Abbey told Reuters by
telephone, noting that some office equipment including
computers taken away by Ghana's anti-graft agency had yet to
Plain-clothed officers from the country's Economic and
Organised Crime Unit (EOCU) raided the GFA headquarters last
Tuesday and removed nine computers and took the mobile phones
of some staff in an inquiry into suspected tax breaches and
In a letter to FIFA seen by Reuters, the government last
week denied meddling.
"Their (crime office) investigations cannot be attributed
to government and cannot be inferred to be government
interference," sports minister Akua Sena Dansua wrote.
"Ongoing matters have nothing to do with central
government and are purely matters being handled by a
legally-established authority," she added in the letter.
Separately, the EOCO issued a statement confirming it was
investigating suspected tax breaches and fraud, and noted that
it had tried earlier this week to return the seized material
to the GFA on Wednesday but found that its offices were shut.
It said the raid was connected to an investigation into
the financial affairs of the GFA "which the Office has cause
to believe have led to breaches of the laws of Ghana on tax,
fraud and others".
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