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Ghana World Cup probe body given more powers

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

ACCRA, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The Ghanaian government has converted the committee set up to investigate Black Stars' poor performance at the just-ended FIFA World Cup in Brazil into a presidential Commission with the powers of a high court.

The decision for the conversion was to ensure that people were compelled to give evidence during the investigations, Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Youth and Sports told Parliament on Monday.

He explained that the Commission of inquiry would also allow prosecutions if adverse findings were established after the investigations.

"We have had to change our minds later in the process and have a commission of inquiry instead; and I can assure you that what largely informed the process is our own observation of public discussions and what Ghanaians will prefer," he said.

The setting up of the Commission became necessary after Ghana's first round exit in the 2014 World Cup.

The Ghana Black Stars failed to make it past the first round after they picked up a point from the three group games played against the United States, Germany and Portugal.

The committee, headed by Justice Senyo Dzamefe, an Appeals Court Judge, was therefore instituted to enquire into matters relating to team's preparation for the tournament and possible lapses therein which might have caused their early exit from the tournament.

It will also inquire into matters relating to the treatment of Ghanaian football fans who were sent to support the Black Stars and advise government on the financing of activities of the Black Stars and other national teams, among other matters of public interest concerning the organization of Ghana's Black Stars' participation in the tournament.

A cross-section of the Ghanaians, backed by some officials of the Ghana Football Association, (GFA) see the establishment of the Commission as government interference into the affairs of the GFA, an instance which is frowned world by football governing body, FIFA.

But Ayariga believes a forward-looking inquiry would expose lapses to engender reforms to improve the organization of the country's participation in future football tournaments.

He said his ministry had no doubt that FIFA would have no objection to participating nations reviewing and inquiring into their poor performance with a view to carrying out reforms that would improve their national teams.

"Stronger teams will ensure more exciting FIFA tournaments," he told parliament last Wednesday.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140714/ghana-world-cup-probe-body-given-more-powers