Undercover London Telegraph Investigation Exposes Ghana Match-Fixing
Ghana "has been exposed as agreeing to take part in international football matches organised by match fixers," according to Newell, Watt, Bryant & Walton of the London TELEGRAPH. An undercover investigation by the Telegraph and Channel 4’s "Dispatches" program found that Ghana FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi "agreed for the team to play in international matches that others were prepared to rig." The Ghana FA "has called for police to investigate two men over the allegations." The GFA said in a statement, "We will seek strong sanctions if such claims are found to be true." The team is currently competing in the World Cup. On Saturday, Ghana pulled off a 2-2 draw against Germany. The Telegraph and Channel 4’s Dispatches "launched a six-month investigation into match-fixing after receiving information that some football associations were working with criminal gangs looking to rig scores in international games." Reporters from the Telegraph and a former FIFA investigator claimed that they "represented an investment company that wanted to 'sponsor' games." Registered FIFA agent Christopher Forsythe and Ghana FA senior member Obed Nketiah "boasted that they could employ corrupt officials who would rig matches played by Ghana." The president of the country’s football association "agreed a contract which would see the team play in the rigged matches, in return for payment." The contract stated that it would cost $170,000 for each match organized by the fixers involving the Ghanaian team, and "would allow a bogus investment firm to appoint match officials, in breach of Fifa rules" (TELEGRAPH, 6/22).
CAUGHT ON TAPE: In a separate piece by Watt, the Telegraph released video of Nyantakyi "meeting reporters and investigators" from the Telegraph and Channel 4's Dispatches at a five-star hotel in Miami. During the "covertly recorded encounter" at the St. Regis Bal Harbour hotel at the beginning of June, Nyantakyi said the sports investment group should have an “experimental period” before the Ghana FA "agreed that all their friendly matches should be organised by Diamond." FIFA said Ghana had reported the matter and it was “evaluating the matter.” The World Cup organizers said they took “allegations of match manipulation very seriously” (TELEGRAPH, 6/23).
GHANA DENIAL: REUTERS' Mark Gleeson reported the Ghana FA "denied British media reports." Nyantakyi said the reports were "a representation of half-truths and half-lies." Nyantakyi: "It's not true that we have agreed with match fixers or people who intend to organize matches of convenience between the Black Stars and any opponent in the future" (REUTERS, 6/23). The BBC reported Nyantakyi "is to sue" the Telegraph over the story. Nyantakyi said that he "has sent a seven-page response" to both parties and is also considering taking legal action against the Channel 4 show. None of the claims "involve matches at the World Cup" (BBC, 6/23).