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Nyantakyi denies match-fixing claims

23 June 2014 17:18

Ghana Football Association (GFA) president Kwesi Nyantakyi has denied any knowledge of alleged attempts to fix his national team's matches.

FIFA and the Ghanaian police are looking into claims that games involving the Black Stars were the subject of attempted manipulation, following an investigation by British media.

Newspaper The Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 programme Dispatches claim to have obtained evidence that a Ghanaian club official and a FIFA-licensed agent were willing to try and arrange the rigging of friendly internationals.

They also allege that Nyantakyi was aware of the plan, which it is claimed would have seen corrupt officials appointed to oversee the matches.

On Sunday, the Ghana FA confirmed they had reported the matter to FIFA and asked police to investigate the intentions of the two men concerned.

And Nyantakyi has now moved to denounce any allegations of GFA involvement in potential corruption.

"The report of the newspaper or the media house is entirely not accurate," he said in a statement on the GFA's official website on Monday.

"There is a representation of half-truths and half-lies. It's not true that we have agreed with match fixers or people who intend to organise matches of convenience between the Black Stars and any opponent in the future.

"The claim (that has) now been made is that, they got me to agree to offer them the right to organise matches and determine or the outcome of this (sic) matches."

The allegations centre on a proposal by two men to buy the rights to Ghana's friendly matches on behalf of a company they claimed to be representing in England.

It has been reported that the draft contract for the proposed deal included a clause stating that the appointment of referees would be held by the company seeking to purchase the rights – a provision that would have been against FIFA rules designed to ensure impartiality.

While acknowledging that perfectly legal discussions over a possible commercial agreement had taken place, the GFA insisted on Sunday that the two men "were subsequently asked to submit their proposal for consideration, which they did and was duly submitted to the Legal Committee of the GFA for perusal and advice."

A statement continued: "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."

And Nyantakyi has now reiterated that no commercial deal was ever signed.

He added: "I have still not received the response of the (GFA) Legal Committee which response was supposed to be forwarded to the Executive Committee for consideration and possibly approval or decline.

"There is really no cause for alarm as far as I am concerned because nothing untoward has happened involving me or the Federation and all the noise (that has) been made is of no consequence.

"They (the two men) never told me that they were interested in fixing any game of the Black Stars.

"They presented a business proposal that sought to buy the rights. I said because it is a novelty, we need to take it to the Executive Committee.

"But never did I think that they had a premeditated plan to sell matches of the Black Stars, which are gradually evolving from the reports that we are hearing."

Earlier, FIFA confirmed they were looking into the claims.

A spokesperson told Perform: "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."

The controversy comes at a difficult time for the Ghana World Cup squad as they prepare for a must-win final Group G clash against Portugal on June 26.

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