The race for an official replacement for Kwesi Nyantakyi heads toward the home stretch end with delegates from various facets of the football caucus set to decide who leads the sector. A ground trembling investigation from Anas Aremeyaw Anas halted mainstream football activities for more one calendar year thanks to fire fighting approach from the Ghana government and other stakeholders of the game. A stop gap managerial body in the Normalization Committee only worsened matters with inconsistent releases and patchy Special Competition to atone for their woes. With virtually three weeks to the end of their mandate, the NC has summoned the entire football fraternity under one roof in a bid to identify the next GFA President.
Ahead of the 2019 Ghana FA Congress slated for the latter part of September, www.442gh.com’s Saani Abacha takes a look at the men with the ambitions of leading Ghana Football in the Post Kwesi Nyantakyi era. Ranking of the listed candidates is not in any continum order of low to high or vice versa. From the season Wilfred Osei Kweku Palmer to the ‘People’s Choice’ in Kurt ES Okraku, or the digital Nana Yaw Amponsah to the returning Fred Pappoe, one thing is guaranteed, same familiar faces in the fraternity can now lead their own affairs and investments.
Wilfred Osei Kweku Palmer
Known in the football fraternity as Palmer, Wilfred Osei Kweku spent 90 percent of his lifetime investing and administering football in Greater Accra and at the national level. As a bankroller of Tema Youth FC, Palmer resonates in the ears of any football inclined person from Dawu to Bawku, Sogakope to Bekwai or Zebile all the way to Samroboi. He is a team player, loved and adored by the masses.
Using the social media handles of Palmer 4 President (P4P), the professionally trained teacher, banker and veteran football administrator, needs no description in the eyes of any delegate.
In a religious post on his Instagram handle, the one time Black Stars Management Committee chairman sounded biblical ahead of the congress.
“God said to Moses, I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites. I am has sent me to you “, Palmer posted.
If popular culture is product of the media and globalization then Palmer seems to be an institution on his own and might be on his way to the top of Ghana football.
George Akwasi Afriyie
Owner and bankroller of Okyeman Planners in the second tier of Ghana football, George Afriyie comes in with irreplaceable experience as a former veep to Kwesi Nyantakyi. Known as Chairman One across the football sector, the pop star administrator comes in with interconnectivity as a key attribute. He is well woven in the system and might be replacing his embattled boss, Kwesi Nyantakyi atop of Ghana football.
As a member of the erstwhile administration from 2005 until his roster coaster relationship at the FA, George stands same chance of emerging winner with his fiercest rivals. From readily available resources to convincing message, the political and lobbying powers of George and his campaign team might be their strongest pillar ahead of the upcoming Congress.
Kurt ES Okraku
The name Kurt might be mistaken for corporate brand and packaging in semantics and illusionary world. The glittering nature of Dreams FC from afar was mirrored in the TN FA Cup to confirm his understanding of the game. He might be young but who needs aged when the young guys are capable? To swing the pendulum in his favor, Kurt Okraku comes in with an array of gems surrounding him as a package. From Ibrahim Dosey to Mohammed Amin (Amin Shadow), Henry Asante to Sheik Tophic Sienu, the persona of his cronies might play a pivotal role in winning votes for him.
A marketing expert, profit oriented, and a brand Ambassador, Kurt’s reign can be described as digital era of football evolution. His unique ability to resurrect neglected players and offer them route to mainstream European football might just be enough to woe some delegates.
Question is, did he announce his intention late or it was a smokescreen political gymnastics? Pundits and followers alike believe in him but do they have vote to confirm their trust? The delegates will speak based on who they know and believe in.
Nana Yaw Amponsah
Nature speaks in an unforgiving and unimaginable way. At 36 years, Kwesi Nyantakyi was elected President of the Ghana Football Association. At 36 years, Nana Yaw Amponsah followed same route, albeit an unorthodox manner. The owner and bankroller of Pharoahs Rangers unleashed mind blowing manifesto almost a year to Congress and has rerouted global traffic onto himself. He seems to be destined for worldwide fame in the football fraternity. Question is, will it be now or later in his administration sojourn?
As a Masters Degree holder in Sports law, Nana Yaw Amponsah truncated campaign teams to assemble his. Many saw the goodies in his package and abandoned other candidates for them. A nationwide package of complete football jersey for 50 clubs from a Turkish firm highlights the practical evidence in his message. He doubles as a FIFA agent and remains the wild card heading into the election.
Know as Papsey by his peers and other figures in the sporting sector, Fred comes with bag full of experience in football administration. The former Vice President at the Ghana Football Association needs no explanation in the eyes of any delegate. His unique administration style makes him a primary key in the mist of other administrative colleagues.
Brief break from the game might be a skirmish on his campaign message but an asset like Papsey can always be embraced by onlookers and admirers.
The outcome of the 2019 Congress will rank these candidates in order of wieght and choices from the candidates. Will be Kurt, Palmer, Pappoe, Nana, or George?