Ex-FIFA Council member charged in court with corruption
ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Former FIFA Council member Kwesi Nyantakyi of Ghana was charged with fraud and corruption in a criminal court on Wednesday after he was caught in an undercover media sting accepting an alleged bribe of $65,000 in cash that he stuffed in a black bag.
Nyantakyi, who was banned from football for life by FIFA in 2018 for bribery and corruption, was charged alongside another former senior Ghana Football Association official, Abdullai Alhassan.
They pleaded not guilty and were granted bail at Accra High Court and ordered to reappear at the court on March 25.
The case relates to an incident in 2018 when Nyantakyi was caught on camera accepting bundles of cash from a group of businessmen at a meeting in Dubai. The money was referred to as “shopping” money for his trip to Dubai. Nyantakyi smiled and said “thank you very much” when offered the money and was then seen stuffing the cash into a bag.
The businessmen turned out to be a team of renowned undercover reporters from Ghana.
Nyantakyi allegedly promised he could help them secure a sponsorship deal in Ghanaian soccer because of his influence. Nyantakyi also claimed he had influence with the president and vice president of Ghana, and other top politicians, prosecutor Victoria Asiedua said.
Nyantakyi and Alhassan sought bribes totaling $12 million, Asiedua said.
At the time, Nyantakyi was the senior vice president at the Confederation of African Football, effectively the second most important official at one of soccer’s biggest continental confederations. He was also a member of the world soccer body’s council, which is its main decision-making body. Previously, he was on the organizing team for soccer at the 2012 London Olympics.