Dzamefe C’ssion presents report to President

dzamefe2PRESIDENT John Mahama has presented to the Attorney-General (A-G) for study and advice, the report of the Justice Dzamefe Commission which was tasked to investigate matters relating to the participation of the Black Stars in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Handing over the 400-page report to Deputy A-G, Dominic Ayine, shortly after receiving it from Justice Senyo Dzamefe, Chairman of the Commission, at the Flagstaff House yesterday, President Mahama pledged that the government would work closely with the Commission to implement its recommendations.

Contents of the voluminous report were not made known to the media but it is believed to entail far-reaching recommendations and measures that need to be taken to overhaul football and other sporting disciplines in Ghana.

The Commission, which has Mr. Moses Foh Amoaning, a private legal practitioner and Mr. Kofi Anokye Owusu Darko, a football enthusiast as members, has already established a report implementation strategy committee to monitor the implementation of the report.

As a further step to ensure that its report was not shelved, the Commission has recommended a quarterly commission review colloquium after every three months concerning the implementation of its recommendations.

It is recalled that the senior national soccer team’s lackluster performance leading to their early exit from the group stages at the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil, caused wide-spread public disapproval, especially after two successful appearances in Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010.

Their poor showing, coupled with internal strife in camp and matters bordering on appearance fees later compelled the government to set up a three-member Commission which was inaugurated on August 4, 2014 to probe the episode.

Among other things, the Commission was to enquire into matters relating to the team’s preparation for the tournament and possible lapses therein which might have caused their early exit from the tournament and also to probe matters relating to the team’s management and events in their camp during the tournament.

Receiving the report, President Mahama noted that the Commission’s work was keenly followed by the citizenry during its public hearings, noting that the events in Brazil marked a very low point in Ghana’s soccer history and led to “a very hurting disappointment in our national team and in our soccer management”.

Happily, however, he observed that the Black Stars acquitted themselves creditably in Equatorial Guinea during the Nation’s Cup tournament and that he said, had shored up Ghanaian’s interest in the team again.

“Human progress is made by learning lessons from our past mistakes, you can never reach perfection if you don’t make mistakes along the way, and so any time you make mistakes it is necessary for you to analyse what created the mistakes so that you avoid making the same mistakes in the future,” said President Mahama.

He said that was why the Commission was set up. The President commended the members of the Commission and its chairman for their high sense of patriotism in terms of the time and effort they put into their work.

Though it took a while for the report to be completed, he said it was time well spent in ensuring that the country got a proper report that analyses the circumstances that occurred, into detail.

“It is our intention and hope to work with you to ensure that the recommendations that are contained in this report are implemented, and I believe that Ghana football and sports management overall, will be much the better,” President Mahama stated.

Earlier, in his remarks, Justice Dzamefe indicated that the Commission’s work spanned over four months (August to December), adding that in all, about 87 people appeared before it, some in public and some in camera.

They included football experts, coach of the Black Stars, some members of the Black Stars, GFA officials, some state officials and individuals involved in one way or the other with Ghana’s participation in the tournament.

“We also embarked on regional tours to see people and to hear what they are saying…to meet the fans face to face to hear what they are saying about the Black Stars.”

Justice Dzamefe intimated that the task of the Commission became bigger than it envisaged, explaining that “We have to give a lot of hearings to stakeholders in football and other sports in order to present a comprehensive report and recommendation,” making it tedious to sift through the report.

He said the Commission also dealt with the lesser known sports.

Justice Dzamefe stated that, “We have also had to request for forensic audit to ensure that matters relating to finance were examined from a professional point of view,” and expressed appreciation to Ernst and Young for the service they rendered to the commission.

He noted that the Constitutional Instrument (CI) 82 established the Commission but it used CI 65 in its procedures.

Justice Dzamefe said though the Commission could not satisfy everybody as far as its output was concerned, it presented its conclusions and recommendations to the best of its conscience. “We cannot be 100 per cent perfect,” he added.

By Samuel Nuamah

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