Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi refused a wrist watch gift worth more than £16,000 that were handed out by the Brazilian Federation to representatives from all 32 countries at the World Cup.
The luxuries Parmigiani watches were also given to 28 FIFA executive committee members who were present at the World Cup in the South American nation.
FIFA’s ethics committee said accepting such valuable gifts contravenes its rules and demanded that all the watches be returned by October 24 last year, or it it launch disciplinary proceedings against the recipients.
A FIFA Report today disclosed that only 48 of the 65 have been returned and the World football governing body has redistributed them to fund a charity working on football projects in Brazil.
The Ghana Football Association president who led the Black Stars delegation to the World Cup, wittingly refused to accept the swanky watch and for that matter, was spared of the pressure of returning them, or facing disciplinary actions.
“The Ghana Football Association didn’t even accept the gift, we didn’t pick it and that is why we have not been involved in all these”, Ghana FA Vice George Afriyie told GazzettaGhana.com
“When we arrived in Ghana, issues of the watches surfaced in the media again and so the president (Kwesi Nyantakyi) wanted to be sure and did ask again from members whether anyone had taken the watch on his behalf but no one owned up”,
“So for this, we are no concerned no involved in any of the controversies”, He added
The saga has left English FA chairman Greg Dyke some £3,000 out of pocket – he was unaware of the value of the watch but when he learned of its worth had to pay import duty before returning it to FIFA.
A statement from FIFA’s ethics committee said: ‘After having investigated the matter thoroughly, the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee found evidence that from the initially intended 65 watches offered by the CBF to football officials, several officials had, in fact, not received a watch.
‘Following said investigations and after contacting all potential recipients, 48 watches were returned to the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee.
‘The investigatory chamber of the ethics committee, led by its chairman Dr Cornel Borbely, decided that all watches returned to FIFA would now be donated to the international non-profit organisation streetfootballworld, who will directly invest all resources generated through the sale of the watches into initiatives across Brazil that use football to drive social change.