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Soccer News of Wednesday, 16 February 2022


Nigeria vs Ghana WCQ: Ghana's Speaker of Parliament wants Black Stars to forfeit fixture

Nigeria will play the first leg at the Cape Coast stadium on March 23 Nigeria will play the first leg at the Cape Coast stadium on March 23

Ghana's Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin says forfeiting the World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria in March should be considered to enable investigations into the cause of the Black Stars woeful performs in the just-ended AFCON 2021 in Cameroon.

Ghana, which is one of the continent's top footballing nations crashed out of the tournament with just one point from a possible nine. A humiliating loss to competition debutants, Comoros in the last game caused an uproar amongst fans who demanded the head of the dismissed coach, Milovan Rajevac.

Amongst other things, a restructuring of the Ghana Football Association's Technical Committee was implemented.

Following the exit at the group stages, Speaker Bagbin noted that parliament would review a report to determine whether the Black Stars will be allowed to play the Nigeria game or forfeit it.

“It’s important that we take a very serious view of it and that’s why the investigation, so at the end of the day this house will have the opportunity to discuss, debate it and then we take a decision.”

“I think that we should consider the matter before any further engagement of the Black Stars with any team towards whether qualifying for the World Cup or whatever, so that we can deal with it and try to right the wrongs before if necessary we engage Nigeria for the qualifying match and if we deem it not necessary we will say so,” Bagbin said on the floor of Parliament.

Reacting, Fiifi Tackie, a spokesperson for the Ayew family, one of country's known footballing families has argued that the speaker's powers are limited noting that he can't stop the Black Stars from playing Nigeria in the 2022 World Cup playoffs.

According to him, the Speaker of Parliament lacks the authority to stop the Black Stars from participating in that fixture.

“I think the speaker is ignorant about football and should focus on his core mandate, clearly he doesn’t know what he is talking about," Tackie said in an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb.

“He is the number 3 gentleman of the land but he has no powers from anywhere to stop us from playing Ghana versus Nigeria. He hasn’t got those powers to start with,” Fiifi Tackie said.

He urged that “I expect our media colleagues to correct these things when people say things like that, you report things but you have to correct the speaker as well.”

The intended action by the Speaker is tantamount to interference in the books of the world football governing body.

According to FIFA, political interference is when a government tries to take direct control of the Football Association.

The most common cause of political interference is when a government perceives that the Executive Committee of the national association is not performing well enough and decides to take action.

Nigeria will play the first leg at the Cape Coast stadium on Wednesay, March 23 and the reverse fixture at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Tuesday, March 29.