Kwesi Nyantakyi was one of the most influential men in world Football before investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ exposé on corruption in Ghana football brought him down to earth.
Among other things, Mr. Nyantakyi was caught on tape plotting to set up an agency that would broker a sponsorship deal for the Ghana Premier League.
But the deal would have seen the former GFA boss benefit significantly more than the association. The agreement under discussion was to be worth $5 million for a year for five years.
After its processes, FIFA’s Ethics Committee has banned Kwesi Nyantakyi for life from all football-related activities at both national and international level. FIFA also imposed GHc2.4 million fine.
He violated conflicts of interest statutes and was found to have engaged in bribery and corruption by FIFA.
But how do the sanctions meted out to Kwesi Nyantakyi compare to other high profile football administrators who were indicted in major malfeasance in the discharge of their duties?
Sepp Blatter, Switzerland
The most high profile name to fall in recent years was Sepp Blatter, who had been President of FIFA for over 17 years. He was banned for eight years in 2015 by the Ethics Committee after being found guilty of a conflict of interest and dereliction of duty.
He paid then-UEFA boss Michel Platini $1.86 million for work done a decade earlier. His ban from football was eventually reduced to six years.
Michel Platini, France
Michel Platini, who had become president of UEFA in 2007, was viewed as the successor to Sepp Blatter. But their ties ultimately became Plantini’s downfall as the payment he received from Sepp Blatter also landed him with an eight-year ban in 2015, which was also reduced to six years after an appeal.
He was also found guilty of a conflict of interest and dereliction of duty.
Jack Warner, Trinidad and Tobago
Like, Nyantakyi, Jack Warner, a former FIFA Vice President to Sepp Blatter, was banned for life in 2013, some four years after he had quit football administration.
He was facing criminal charges in the United States over an alleged £100 million fraud at the time. The US alleged he accepted a $10m bribe from South African officials in return for voting to award them the 2010 World Cup. He was also said to have bribed officials with envelopes each containing $40,000.
Chuck Blazer, United States
Chuck Blazer, who worked with Jack with Warner as CONCACAF’s General Secretary and sat on the FIFA Executive Committee from 1996 to 2013, admitted to conspiring with other FIFA Executive Committee members to accept bribes in connection with world cup bids from Morocco and South Africa.
Despite cooperation with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, by wearing recording equipment to meetings, leading to the arrest of several FIFA officials in Zurich, he still received a lifetime ban in 2015. He also pleaded guilty in a New York court to racketeering, wire fraud, income tax evasion, and money laundering.
Mohamed Bin Hammam, Qatar
Also serving a life ban, the former president of the Asian Football Confederation was due to stand for the FIFA presidency against Blatter in 2011.
But before the election, he was accused of attempting to bribe officials in a meeting and was suspended by FIFA. He was captured in an exposé published by the British newspaper the Sunday Times in June 2014. The newspaper published leaked email documents which showed that bin Hammam had paid members of other nations’ Football Associations in the run-up to his presidential election campaign and prior to the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bids decision that took place in December 2010.
Kalusha Bwalya, Zambia
Former Zambian FA President, Kalusha Bwalya, was banned for two years and a fined $100,000. FIFA’s ethics committee said the 1988 African Footballer of the Year was guilty of accepting gifts and violating confidentiality rules.
An investigation found he had received $50,000 in 2009 and $30,000 in 2011 when Qatari bin Hammam was lacing his boots to challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.
Amos Adamu, Nigeria
Nigeria’s Amos Adamu was banned for two years in 2017 for his involvement in the organization of an event in 2010 which violated FIFA’s rules of conduct and constituted a conflict of interest.
A FIFA investigation report cited the Sunday Times’ allegations that Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid team paid $1 million to Adamu’s son to”sponsor an “African Legends Dinner” in 2010.
Amos Adamu had already served a three-year ban in 2010 for accepting bribes in relation to the World Cups in Russia and Qatar.
Edwardo Li, Costa Rica
Then-Costa Rican Football Federation President Eduardo Li was banned for life in 2017 after he pleaded guilty to racketeering in the United States as part of a massive probe in the rot in FIFA.
A US Department of Justice indictment said Li took six-figure bribes from a marketing agency linked to commercial rights for World Cup qualifying matches.
Jerome Valcke, France
Jerome Valcke, a former FIFA General Secretary, was suspended in 2015 when FIFA ruled he had breached the body’s ethics code on a series of occasions. Ethics charges were brought against him over World Cup ticket sales.
The Frenchman was originally given a 12-year ban and a £76,600 before the ban was later reduced by two years.