Fifa bans Ghana football head Kwesi Nyantakyi over 'cash gift'

  • Published
Media caption,

African referees filmed taking cash

The former Ghana Football Association president has been banned by Fifa from football activities for 90 days.

Ghana has said it will dissolve its national football association after Kwesi Nyantakyi was filmed apparently accepting a "cash gift".

He was pictured taking $65,000 (£48,000) from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman.

Mr Nyantakyi is the second most powerful official in African football and also a member of the Fifa Council.

Ghana Football Association (GFA) announced on 8 June, hours after the ban was put in place, that Mr Nyantakyi had stepped down as its president.

He has not commented on the allegations.

The provisional suspension comes into force "immediately" and can be extended by 45 days, Fifa said in a statement.

BBC African football analyst Nick Cavell says it seems unlikely that Ghana will be able to take part in Wednesday's vote for the next host of the 2026 World Cup, which pits Morocco against a joint bid from US, Canada and Mexico.

Fifa could in theory ban Ghana from international competition if they deem the move to dissolve the GFA to be political interference.

What is in the film?

An undercover investigation by controversial journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas first raised serious questions about the nature of Africa's favourite game.

BBC Africa's new investigations unit, Africa Eye, has had exclusive access to the footage of Anas' film.

Mr Nyantakyi had made tackling corruption a major part of his message since taking the helm of the GFA.

But the film shows him apparently placing the $65,000 "shopping money" into a black plastic bag from a reporter pretending to be a businessman keen to invest in Ghanaian football.

He is the most prominent member of more than 100 football officials - most of them West African referees - receiving cash.

Fifa rules forbid officials from receiving cash gifts.

Among those caught on camera was Kenyan referee Adel Range Marwa, who was bound for the World Cup in Russia until he resigned after he was filmed being given $600. He denies any wrongdoing.

The film's revelations have also led to Mr Nyantakyi being put under investigation for fraudulently using Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo's name - by order of the president himself.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Kwesi Nyantakyi had pledged to tackled corruption...
Image caption,
In the film, he can be seen taking piles of cash and putting it into a bag

The investigation invited Mr Nyantakyi to a luxury hotel in the Middle East with the promise of meeting a wealthy businessman it said was interested in a sponsorship deal with the GFA.

In the film, Mr Nyantakyi went on to both negotiate and write up the sponsorship deal on behalf of the GFA, which could have allowed a cut to go to a company he owned.

Correspondents say that had the fictitious deal gone ahead, he could potentially have made $4.5m from the diversion of funds.