Kwesi Nyantakyi’s hopes of getting on the FIFA Executive Committee has been boosted after one of his challengers opted out of the race.
CAF Vice President Sekutu Patel pulled out of the race, leaving five candidates to vie for the two available positions on the restructured FIFA Council
It would be D-Day for Kwesi Nyantakyi in Cairo on Thursday. For a long time the Ghana Football Association president has haboured ambitions of having a significant voice in the running of world football. Now, he could earn a place on FIFA’s most powerful body.
The 37-member FIFA Council, previously called the Executive Committee defines FIFA’s mission, policies and values.
In business terms it is required to define the standard and procedures applicable to the awarding of commercial contracts by FIFA. It also supervises the general secretariat of world football.
In summary, being on the FIFA Council is a big deal. But what would it mean to countries where the individual members come from?
Ibrahim Sannie Daara, Communications Director of the Ghana Football Association claims in Ghana’s case, a lot.
“It will be the first time a Ghanaian will be serving on the board of FIFA. That is where the biggest decisions in football are taken and to have a Ghanaian in the position first of all mean that the Ghanaian voice will be heard,” Sannie said.
“Secondly, it will also mean that we will get the opportunity to further entrench ourselves as one of the top football nations in the world. We will also get to foster the African voice within FIFA. All too often the Europeans have led the way, but this time we are having a much younger person with a lot of experience who will come and fight the African course in FIFA. We have seen from examples with him being in the CAF executive committee and the benefits it has brought to us.
“He has gotten the opportunity to push a lot of Ghanaians to work in the CAF circles. As it stands now, we have 11 Ghanaians at CAF and it is all thanks to his presence at the top of African football.
“Lastly for the fact that Ghanaians will take pride in the fact that one of their own is the heart of world football and the world’s most popular game. “
Not everyone believes that though. For long FIFA Executive Committee members have ridden on the back of the roles to become some of the most powerful and influential people in world sports but sports journalist Saddick Adams is not banking on that impacting significantly on the fortunes of Ghana football.
“No Ghanaian has ever attained this position so it will be quite huge if Kwasi Nyantakyi wins it. He has done a lot for Ghana football in the past 11 years and also for African Football”, he said.
“Nyantakyi is regarded as one of the biggest figures in African football and his work speaks for itself. We cannot forget about the negativity that his tenure has brought us also. Ghana was banned for age cheating, the quality of our league isn’t the best as well. Like Kwame Nrumah, Nyantakyi is recognized globally but receives backlash from Ghanaians. I don’t think his election to the FIFA council will impact so much on Ghana football because like Kofi Annan worked for the UN, we didn’t see much here as Ghanaians.”
The election is due to be held in Cairo on Thursday.