After the Normalization Committee had their tenure extended by FIFA to continue to run football affairs in Ghana while football Ghana awaits a new set of governing body, football lovers met this move with mixed feelings.
While many thought the extension was in place to clear the house for a new life in Ghana football, others believed once the calendar showed 31st March; the normalization committee should refrain from acting as Ghana’s football governing body and pave way for a properly elected set to run football affairs.
On the score of the successes of the Normalization Committee while standing in the gap for Ghana football, it won’ t be out of place to comment that, the six month extension granted Dr. Kofi Amoah and his team has not been a complete waste of time.
The beauty with which the NC Special competition was launched gave hope that after Anas’ number 12 halted football activities and to a large extent football lovers’ love for the local game, there indeed is light at the end of the tunnel after all. Football in Ghana was going to be revived! And with Dr. Kofi Amoah as the president of the NC board, no yawa kwraaa!
The core mandate of the stand-in committee was to reform the game on the local scene by effecting administrative changes that would implicate the beauty of football in Ghana and most importantly clear the world’s mind off the perception that football made in Ghana is football made with corruption. The prime reason for the institution of the normalization committee by FIFA as Kweku Zurek in his story on Graphic Online accounts “was to review the Ghana Football Association statutes to ensure compliance with the requirements of FIFA and CAF, particularly article 15 of the FIFA Statutes”. The committee was also tasked to organize elections of the executive committee of the GFA amongst their administrative tasks of running the GFA.
These three basic tasks, if completed would help the GFA regain its stance as the nation’s football governing body as well as maintain the body as an autonomous entity as FIFA requires. Indeed, the task of the NC was to reconstruct the GFA and its systems of operation so it could take back its driving seat in steering the affairs of football.
That noted, it will be impermissible to forget to iterate that the NC was and is expected to resurrect dead football activities in the country.
The NC’s underlying mandate was to rejuvenate football in Ghana despite being tasked with just administrative duties.
Whether or not football has been resurrected qualifies for discussions for another day but has the GFA and its numerous sins been cleaned well enough to resurrect football in Ghana?
Well, let’s say that will tell sooner or later. We all, we dey. But the crux of this article is to find the sense in Dr. Kofi Amoah’s decision to cover the sins of GFA instead of cleansing them. Just a few days ago, there has been incessant reports in the media with many claiming to have ‘chanced upon a leaked’ proposal of the Normalization Committee to change the logo of the GFA and also propose a change of name of the governing body as part of its mandate to reform statutes of the association.
It’s quite hard though, to link an organizational name change to an organizational statutory reform, but it appears the logo and name change sounds more of a rebranding agenda than a reformation agenda.
If news within the media is anything to go by, then, the normalization committee might merely be seeking to put the icing on the cake after receiving FIFA’s approval of statutory reforms done so far.
The reforms would however be ineffective until the association’s congress accepts it as viable and hence implements it. The only worry is that, the icing won’t really matter if the cake doesn’t taste nice. A logo and name change, will only seem like a white shirt on mad man. Eventually, the shirt will mean nothing more than a rag!
Since the NC begun to engage various stakeholders of football in a bid to resurrect the game, reports of unison between the stand-gap governing body and major stakeholders have not been encouraging. There have been frequent issues of conflict between the committee and various club heads.
The conflicts have gotten so bad as to sometimes involve media persons. This is a subtle and precursory indication that, the main mandate giving the NC might not have been completed. If the committee that was tasked to restore calm into a chaotic organization has assumed chaos as its modus operandi, the organization will not know restoration. It’s as simple as that. This is not to condemn the hard work of the committee in putting Ghana football back on its feet, but to think that the reason for the committees’ institutionalization has not been achieved and is probably getting worse, while the NC thinks of a rebranding campaign does not sit well logically.
It has been mentioned initially, that although the NC’s mandate is more administrative, the committee became responsible for every aspect of football activities when they launched and somewhat successfully concluded with the Special Competition.
However, beautiful that competition was, it showed to all Ghanaians, that indeed, the normalization committee haven’t (or at least are yet to) normalize football in Ghana after the ‘crisis’.
The continuous complaints from club owners and managers as a result of their antipathy towards the competitions’ format amongst other things aside, it is no hidden fact how the issues of referee assault, bribery allegations and club fan hooliganism that we heard of during the times of the GFA we knew before Anas nailed it to the cross came glaring back at us.
It was sad to have seen BBC Sport carry the story “Ghana Prisons Service to Investigate Assault on Female Referee” on April 9 following the assault of FIFA referee, Theresa Bremansu in a game between Prisons Laadies and Ampem Darkoa. BBC! That is the whole world getting to know that the kind of football we used to see sometimes ago is the same football we are seeing now, and will possibly be seeing after the NC has finished their ‘logolization’ and handed over.
It will only serve the purpose of shameful emphasis to go over the list of assaults that were meted out to referees, and issues of hooliganism that plagued the Special competition. However, it will be right to underscore to the NC that, there is more to the reformation they were tasked with than rebranding.
In any case, those who know the first things about branding will concur that it is a promise of excellence to be delivered to customers. If the NC has lost its way and decided to rebrand, instead of reform, it might as well know that, it must deliver on a promise of excellence.
If referee assaults; hooliganism; and tension between the governing body and its stakeholders; and a new logo is a promise of excellence that Dr. Kofi Amoah and his team intend to deliver as reformation; then the God save Ghana football.
By Shadrack Odame