Ghana risks being suspended from the 2026 World Cup hosting vote by FIFA after its government said it had disbanded the national soccer federation amid allegations of "widespread" corruption made in an undercover documentary.
Ghana has decided to dissolve its national football association a day after officials, including the body's president, were shown in a documentary taking kickbacks, the information minister said on Thursday.
The two-hour documentary, "When Greed and Corruption Become the Norm" by undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, was provided to the authorities last month before being screened in public for the first time on Wednesday.
The documentary was a collaboration between the Ghanaian investigative journalist and the BBC.
Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Kwesi Nyantakyi did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The GFA said it would cooperate with any investigation.
Nyantakyi, who is also a member of the FIFA Council, the world football body's legislative organ, was filmed in a hotel room taking a $65,000 bribe from a supposed businessman seeking to sponsor the Ghanaian football league.
He is also the second most senior official in African football as first vice president of the Confederation of African Football.
Shocked and outraged
Information Minister Mustapha Abdul-Hamid said in a statement that the government was shocked and outraged at the contents of the documentary and would refer the alleged culprits to the police for investigation.
The Ghana government said the documentary had exposed "widespread fraud, corruption and bribery" at the Ghana Football Association.
"Having regard to the widespread nature of the apparent rot involving top GFA officials, NSA (National Sports Authority) officials, match commissioners, football administrators and referees, government has decided to take immediate steps to have the GFA dissolved," he said.
He said the government would soon announce provisional measures to govern football activities until a new association could be formed.
World Cup risk
Ghana now risks being suspended from the 2026 World Cup hosting vote by FIFA.
Ghana was expected to vote for fellow African country Morocco next Wednesday in Moscow against the joint World Cup bid of the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The decision throws one of African soccer's recent success stories into chaos. Ghana made the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and was widely praised for that run.
It's one of the most successful teams in African football, although the national team didn't qualify for this year's World Cup.
More immediately, the move by the government puts Ghana at risk of being suspended by FIFA, which typically bans national soccer bodies from international matches and meetings for "government interference" in how they are run.