The current soccer World Cup is a magnificent celebration of all that is right and good with the sport of soccer (or football if you will). But despite this, the ugly, dark shadow that always lurks not too far behind the beautiful game is always ready to rear its ugly head, as it has done so once again today. Ghana may have produced some of the most daring, spectacular football seen so far this tournament (including that stunning 2-2 draw against European powerhouse Germany), but scandal is now set to overtake any goodwill earned, after an investigation revealed that Ghana’s Football Association has been prepared to organise matches for the national side that were setup by corrupt match fixers.
A six month investigation conducted by the UK’s The Telegraph and Channel 4 has brought the allegations to light, and has the evidence to back it. Kwesi Nyantakyi, the President of the Ghanaian Football Association, agreed to contracts that would have seen bogus companies set up international games involving the Ghana national side, and be allowed to appoint their own officials, at a cost of $170,000. Obviously, this is very much in breach of FIFA rules and regulations.
The meeting with Nyantakyi was setup by journalists posing as investors, who first made contact with Ghana Football via senior Ghana FA figure Obed Nketiah along with an actual, real life registered FIFA Agent in Christopher Forsythe.
Not that news of corruption within FIFA or any of its personnel should come as a shock. But the repeated incidences of blatant abuse of trust over what is essentially merely a game is definitely, at the very least, a little disheartening. Such is the allure of quick money though, I suppose.
At this point it’s probably worth posting this video again, so at the very least we can find some sort of humour in the face of misdoings like these.
Photo: Laurence Griffiths via Getty Images.