Accra - The Ghana Football Association (GFA) on Thursday
pledged to tackle corruption after an explosive undercover investigation
alleged referees took bribes and the head of the governing body received
A long-awaited documentary was unveiled in Accra on
Wednesday night, little more than a week before the start of the World Cup
It purports to show referees apparently taking as little as
$100 each to rig matches.
It also charges that GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi - a
senior member of world governing body FIFA and the Confederation of African
Football (CAF) - requested $11 million from undercover reporters posing as
investors to secure government contracts.
He also apparently tried to profit personally from a $5
million-a-year, five-year sponsorship deal with the GFA in what the expose said
was a "clear breach" of ethics.
The GFA said on Thursday that it had not seen the
documentary, which has sparked concerns about media freedom after the
journalist responsible received death threats.
But it said in a statement: "We view the allegations
circulating in the media very seriously and would wish to take immediate steps
to address them."
It added: "The GFA wishes to place on record that,
there will be no attempt of a cover-up or shield any of our members caught in
alleged acts of corruption.
"The GFA wishes to assure all that as an institution it
does not condone any manner of corrupt practices."
The governing body said it had previously acted swiftly
against claims of match-fixing.
In 2014, Britain's Channel 4 television and the Daily
Telegraph newspaper claimed Nyantakyi agreed a $170,000-deal for Ghana's
national side to play in a friendly organised by match fixers.
Nyantakyi denied signing any contract.
Football is the national sport in Ghana but the senior men's
team, the Black Stars, have not qualified for the World Cup finals.
At the last tournament in Brazil in 2014, the government
chartered a plane to send more than $3 million in cash to players in a row over
The decision caused a scandal back home as the country
struggled with spiralling inflation, a yawning budget deficit and depreciating
Diplomats, lawmakers, government ministers and members of
the public packed a conference centre in Accra to watch the first screening of
the two-hour documentary on Wednesday.
Football fan Simon Gyamfi said afterwards it was a
"wake-up call" for the national game, adding: "I hope it will
lead to a total clean-up in Ghanaian football.
"There is so much corruption in the system... The
entire Ghana FA executive must be scrapped. What we have just seen is a total
disgrace to the beautiful game."
The documentary, filmed over two years, is the work of Anas
Aremeyaw Anas, who has previously exposed graft in the judiciary and keeps his
identity a closely guarded secret.
After watching an advance private screening, President Nana
Akufo-Addo complained to police that Nyantakyi had "used the president's
name and office fraudulently".
Nyantakyi was then questioned and released pending further
A lawmaker from Akufo-Addo's ruling New Patriotic Party has
since accused Anas of being corrupt and insinuated he should be killed and his
colleagues beaten up.