By Kofi Asare
When the prodigal son returned home and was warmly received by his father, I am sure it became the talk of town.
His brother though unhappy had to submit himself to the overarching power and authority of the father. He luckily or should I say fortunately saved by grace from public ridicule and shame.
Imagine a case where he had been cast away by the father whose responsibility as a father was to cater for, correct, straighten and above all love him. It would have been a perfect example for all children in the community and all who would ever hear the story.
The luck of the prodigal son however cannot be counted for the ‘scape goat’ as captured in Leviticus 16:10. Here the sins of the children of Israel were to be placed on one of two goats. With a casting of lots, the unfortunate ‘scape goat’ was chosen to bear the sins of the lot and driven away into the wilderness. Don’t mistake this for a sermon. Just bring your mind to the ongoing strife between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Football Association and examine the parallels and similarities.
Post-Brazil 2014, the Ghana FA and the Black Stars assumed the character of the prodigal son. It was a well-funded world cup campaign which ended in shame, disappointment and disgrace for the tiny West African country called Ghana which had in the past two editions won many lovers for itself and Africa as a whole.
It all came down to one thing- heavy, uncontrolled spending which was capped by the flying on about $4 million dollars to pay appearance fees. The prodigal son was however unrepentant. The sheer indifference of the Black Stars and the FA to the people’s wrath was met with a national cry for funding cuts which unfortunately wasn’t heard.
The reaction was simple, the fans began withdrawing their support and love for the team, gradually pushing it away into the wilderness of their hearts.
An enquiry into the disaster in Brazil did not help matters. The birth or unveiling of the word ‘coefficient’ forever condemned the Kwesi Nyantakyi led GFA to eternal damnation.
The prodigal son had now descended to a level where his father (government) could no longer accept him but use him to earn the respect and loyalty of his son and the community which had described him as a ‘fool’ for parting ways with so much wealth. Who would however carry out that task without losing friends and political capital? A quick change of hands was done at the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Hon. Mustapha Ahmed was brought in to whip some discipline into the system. He was however taken away before the job could be done. He was replaced by an experienced Sports Journalist, ex- sports man, and above all a propaganda savvy Nii LanteyVanderpuye.
His appppointment was highly praised but a sour taste was left on the tongue of the FA after his vetting. The first shots were fired and the bullets could never be recalled, nor could the machine gun be stopped before the havoc had been caused.
The small earth crack has now grown into a wide valley several feet below ground level. Too bad we have come to this level but thankfully we have a higher father in the land. At this point where egos would not erase the battle line, I expect both parties to be called to order by the president for the matter to be settled outside the media space.
As sensitive as the issue is, it must not be heard in the public court.
To end my long talk, let me once again get biblical and ask a question here which I may well answer on my own. Between government and the GFA, who is blameless and has the right to cast the first stone?
I rest my case.