Ghana FA chief denies fix claims

Banbury Cake: Ghana's FA has asked police to investigate two people for alleged misrepresentation Ghana's FA has asked police to investigate two people for alleged misrepresentation

The president of the Ghana Football Association has denied agreeing for the national team to play in matches that others were preparing to fix.

An undercover investigation by Channel 4's Dispatches and The Telegraph identified two people, one a licensed FIFA agent and the other a Ghana club official, who said they could fix friendly matches involving the national side, who are currently involved in the World Cup.

The report claimed that GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi had agreed for Ghana to play in two proposed matches after the World Cup, but he has denied that in an interview with the BBC World Service.

"The contents of the publication are not wholly true." Nyantakyi told the Newsday programme. "I was sent a press enquiry from the newspaper and I provided a full account of what transpired. It's unfortunate that they did not report fully what I told them.

"First of all I have not agreed to any match-fixing deal involving the FA. I was given a draft contract which I indicated to their agent that I hadn't read and I also had some issues with it and so it will be premature for anybody to say the FA is at fault."

The Telegraph reported that, during a meeting with an undercover reporter, Nyantakyi had said he was happy with a proposed contract for two friendly matches which would have seen match officials appointed by a bogus investment firm, a breach of FIFA rules.

But Nyantakyi said he did not read the contract and only submitted it to the GFA's lawyers to see if it was worth pursuing.

"I didn't read it at all...I did not read the contract at all," he said. "They told me it was an investment company that was interested in buying the rights to our matches and that the matches will be organised by a FIFA match agent...

"When the draft contract was submitted to me it was forwarded to the lawyers to look at it because we need to know their position before we can sign. If they say okay, I read it to satisfy myself that all is okay. But I cannot read it and decide on my own to sign without the okay from the lawyer and the committee."

When news of the investigation first broke on Sunday night, the GFA issued a statement saying it had called in the police to investigate two people for misrepresentation.

A statement from the GFA said: "The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has requested the Ghana Police Service to investigate two persons for misrepresenting the GFA with an attempt to defraud.

"The two were also allegedly filmed claiming that they would bribe GFA officials to ensure that the contract is signed.

"We wish to state that the GFA did not sign the contract as we waited for the response from the legal committee and that the two gentlemen did not make such corrupt offers to the GFA or its officials.

"We wish to assure the public that we will not tolerate such misrepresentations and we will seek strong sanctions against such individuals if such claims are found to be true."

Ghana's hopes of progressing to the knock-out stages of the World Cup are still alive after Portugal's stoppage-time equaliser against the United States on Sunday night left everything to play for in Group G.

But Nyantakyi claimed the fixing scandal had been deliberately timed to hurt his country at the World Cup.

"It is a well-orchestrated plan to punish the hard-won reputation of the Ghanaian FA and also to try and devalue the participation of the country at the World Cup and it's not acceptable at all," he said.

FIFA confirmed it had been contacted by the Ghana FA and was investigating.

A FIFA spokesperson said: "We are aware of the media reports and have been contacted by the Ghana Football Association on this matter. In line with standard procedures, FIFA's security division is evaluating the matter.

"It is important to note that we have no indications that the integrity of the FIFA World Cup has been compromised.

"Speaking generally, the integrity of the game is a top priority for FIFA and as such we take any allegations of match manipulation very seriously."

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